Nakheel on Wednesday broke ground on the Palma Residences, Palm Jumeirah - its first project launched after completion of its Dh60-billion restructuring process - with the project stated to be completed in 18 months. Thirty units at a combined value of Dh223 million had been sold and 30 more “serious” potential buyers are in the pipeline, Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said. “It’s the first project to be launched after our restructuring. We have sold 30 units and that shows sign of trust in Dubai and sign of trust in Nakheel.” He added: “These are all end-users. Investor confidence is back. We are serious and will deliver the project faster than expected.\" Emirates 24/7 reported on April 3 that the company had sold 21 units for Dh159 million on the first day when sales started. Dubai Civil Engineering has been appointed main contractor for Palma Residences. The infrastructure and construction contract is worth Dh194 million. Palma investors have to make a down payment of 40 per cent and will be issued a title deed in a month. The second payment of 20 per cent will have to be made by end of 2012, 20 per cent by June 30, 2013 and the remaining by end of 2013. Located off Palm Jumeirah’s eastern side of the trunk, Palma Residences will have 104 Mediterranean-style townhouses. The community is centred on six landscaped green areas covering a total of more than 3,200 square metres. Units are priced between Dh6 million and Dh8 million. Lootah reiterated that property prices on Palm Jumeirah were higher than the pre-crisis level - a claim made earlier by their acting CEO Sanjay Manchanda. On March 28, Manchanda told this website that demand was “fantastic” for Nakheel’s luxury projects and Palm properties are now selling for Dh15,600 to Dh16,150 per square metre. Lootah rubbished a media report that claims prices had crashed on The Palm, saying, “The Palm is The Palm and they had sufficient evidence to prove that prices are on the rise. Palma Residence is one example. Besides, we have managed to sell plots on Frond N at prices 30 per cent higher than last year. We have sold 70 per cent of the frond and there is still demand.” Asteco, a real estate consultancy, said recently that apartment prices in Palm Jumeirah have risen nine per cent to Dh12,900 per square metre in the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. Nakheel, though, has kept Frond G on the Palm as a land bank for future development. “We will be launching new projects in future, but only after carefully studying the market,” he stated. Nakheel is developing 8,252 units across various developments in Dubai. To date, it has handed over of 3,549 units with remaining units planned for hand over in 2012 and early 2013. ost-November 2009, Nakheel has made total payments of Dh7.6 billion to various contractors, creditors and suppliers. It has issued sukuk of Dh3.8 billion to its trade creditors and made a total payment of Dh320 million in interest and profits to its lenders to date.