Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Off-the-plan craziness at The Oracle

Here is an interesting but sad story about a teacher's aid, who signed an off-the-plan contract in 2006 to purchase an apartment in The Oracle at Broadbeach for $940,000, plus stamp duty.  Unsurprisingly, she was unable to settle and then unsuccessfully sued the developer (Niecon) to get out of the contract.

"She explained that she did not have the funds to settle and that the matter had cost her $7,500 in bank guarantee fees. She explained that she had a mortgage of around $100,000 on her $300,000 townhouse, was in her mid-50s and earned about $550 per week as a teacher’s aide. She asked to be let out of the contract and explained the difficulties that she had in meeting the required deposit of $94,000. She explained that she had brought up her children without maintenance from her former husband and saw the investment in The Oracle as a way of finally getting ahead by using the equity in her home as the deposit."

In early 2010, before completion of the development, she listed the property for sale at a price of $1.28 million. "This price was selected because it would enable her to cover the purchase price, stamp duty and agent’s commission. However, the price of $1.28 million was unrealistic in the light of the global financial crisis and its impact on property prices, even though Ms Ryan had the hope that such an iconic building would not be affected as other parts of the market had been."

What a crazy thing for this person to do.  Why would anyone in their right mind who was earning $550 a week sign a contract to purchase a Gold Coast apartment for about a million dollars?!

See Decision, at paragraph [326] and following.

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