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Millions lost in housing estate - Hamilton

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  • Millions lost in housing estate - Hamilton

    Millions lost in housing estate
    It was sold as an exclusive Hamilton subdivision, but would-be residents are ropable, reports Natalie Akoorie.
    By NATALIE AKOORIE - Waikato Times | Saturday, 21 June 2008

    Nine disgruntled buyers in an exclusive Hamilton subdivision have cancelled their contracts, claiming that the River Road North site is not the prestigious estate the developer sold it as.

    Other buyers are poised to follow suit, including one who is understood to have bought a whopping 20 sections in the Saint-Petersburg Estate.

    One of the nine, who have banded together through a lawyer to fight Rotorua-based developer Peter Bradley for their deposits, said the subdivision was not what purchasers thought they were buying into in mid-2005.

    The Hamilton father-of-three, who does not want to be named, said Saint-Petersburg Estate was sold to them as an ``exclusive'' subdivision of a quality befitting its illustrious 1818 River Rd address.

    Advertising hoardings still at the subdivision state it will include ``beautiful architectural bridges throughout'', a new cafe to be built on site, streamside scenic walkways and the ``largest residential sections''. With work on the subdivision understood to be complete and titles near release, the contrast to what was promised is stark, though contracts signed say the developer could make changes.

    The couple bought a 1045sqm section for $269,000 and paid a $10,000 deposit under builder's terms in September 2005.

    They signed the contract without legal advice after a sales agent, who worked for Mr Bradley's Featherstone Park Developments Ltd, told them sections were selling out fast. Later they found the standard 14-day cancellation provision had been removed from the contract.

    Billed as a ``character residential subdivision'' and as ``romantic countryside living with city sophistication'', Saint-Petersburg Estate sections were priced at the top end of the market, ranging from around $200,000 to $400,000 and were upwards of 700sqm.

    The couple say they were told bridges would be built of schist, there would also be a lake or pond, a jetty, a tennis court, playground, extensive tree planting, and no through roads to neighbouring estates.
    They spent $12,500 having a dream home specially designed for their section and waited patiently after their title didn't come through in August 2006 as expected.

    But when low-grade chip seal was used in roading and galvanised steel street lights instead of ornamental lamps were erected, the couple began to worry.

    ``They represented this as a really special, upmarket subdivision. We are absolutely ropable.''
    On top of that a through road was linked to more than 200 sections in adjoining Eton Estate.At the time of purchase they believed only 84 sections were for sale. But when 118sq m was shaved off their section through a clause in the contract, they became aware extra sections were added to the estate with 97 sold in total.

    The Hamilton lawyer acting on behalf of the group, Victoria Whitfield, said in her opinion there was a strong case for misrepresentation, breach of contract and breaches under the Fair Trading Act, and that conditions in the Resource Management Act had not been met.

    She said the section owners had paid a premium for a high-quality subdivision which had not been delivered.

    ``I don't think that you can promise somebody a Rolls-Royce and give them a Mini which is what I think the developer has done in this case.''

    Solicitors have been notified the deposits are in dispute and instructed not to disburse them..
    Saint-Petersburg Estate sales agent Kelly Bradley, the daughter of Mr Bradley, did not respond to a list of questions from the Waikato Times, which had been supplied to her on Thursday. Mr Bradley said he was in a meeting when contacted.

    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx

  • #2
    "Natalie Akoorie"?

    Where did the Waikato Times pick this idiot up from?

    "Millions lost ... " Good grief!

    Stick her on the next plane out.


    • #3
      Section buyers face losses: valuer's report
      By NATALIE AKOORIE - Waikato Times | Monday, 23 June 2008

      Section owners in the stalled Saint-Petersburg Estate subdivision could have lost up to 17 per cent in land value and capital gains, according to a valuer's report.

      Seven disgruntled buyers sought valuations on their sections after they claim the north Hamilton subdivision failed to meet the standards marketed by developer Peter Bradley.

      The Waikato Times revealed on Saturday that up to nine out of 97 buyers in the subdivision had ordered the cancellation of their contracts amid claims the estate had not been built to the exclusive standard they had paid a premium price for.

      One of the purchasers, who did not want to be named, said the group had their sections valued in March by Darroch Valuations Waikato, which revealed the extent of their loss.

      The group had three valuations completed on each section. The first one was based on the subdivision being completed as promised, and showed a marginal gain of eight per cent.

      The second was based on the subdivision with poor quality roading and lighting but including the proposed cafe, tennis court, playground, pond, jetty and landscaping, and showed a $1000 gain for one of the sections.

      The third valuation was for the subdivision as it is currently and showed that the $269,000 section, bought in September 2005, was now worth $245,000. This was a total loss of 17 per cent including the capital gain of eight per cent, and was adjusted to accommodate the recent market downturn.

      It represented a $45,000 loss for that couple, who also spent $12,500 on house plans and paid a $10,000 deposit.

      "We couldn't possibly quantify what we would have lost through waiting for this development," the purchaser said. The couple now face trying to find another section and selling their house in a slowing market, along with skyrocketing building costs.

      Another disgruntled purchaser who has cancelled his contract said he paid "top dollar" for a large section at a premium location that he expected would have all the trimmings. He said he decided early on he would not build on the section because of concerns he had at how the subdivision was progressing.

      Originally the land belonged to Hamilton city councillor Peter Bos.

      Council planning guidance manager Gulab Bilimoria said the roading and street lighting met council's district plan minimum standards. The council had issued compliance for 58 sections in the first three stages, meaning those titles could be released. Another 39 from stages four and five were yet to be released. There were 97 sections in total.

      "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx


      • #4
        The Hamilton father-of-three, who does not want to be named, said...
        Paul - what are you doing buing sections anyway