New World Development's Grandiose residential project enjoyed brisk sales yesterday, notching almost $1 billion, despite higher selling prices and uncertainty over interest rates. The developer had sold 380 flats in the Tseung Kwan O project by 10pm, New World Development sales and marketing manager Albert Chan said. This brought total sales in the development to 980 units. Mr Chan had expected the number of sale transactions to pass 1,000 by the end of the day. Yesterday's selling price was typically $4,500 per square foot, 15 per cent higher than those of similar properties last year, he said. The 380 units are estimated to have fetched about $1 billion. Louis Chan, executive director of Centaline Property Agency, said yesterday's prices were 7 per cent higher than those for similar apartments two weeks ago. 'This is a good reflection of market demand, showing Hong Kong people are confident about buying property and willing to accept price increases,' he said. 'It's a good result compared with recent Hong Kong property sales, given the rise in prices.' About 60 per cent of the units sold were two-bedroom, 500 square foot flats, although three-bedroom, 800 sqft flats were also sold, Mr Chan said. He added that most buyers were Hong Kong residents and first-time buyers. In the first four months this year, New World Development gained $4.5 billion from sales of 1,600 flats, exceeding its sales forecast for the whole year. Most of the flats sold were in its 1,182-unit Merton project in Kennedy Town and the Grandiose. Buyer confidence was boosted by the refusal of Hong Kong banks to raise interest rates last week, despite a rise in US rates, Centaline's Mr Chan said. But he said confidence would drop if local banks raised interest rates by two percentage points or if US rates rose another 1 per cent.