Receivership of Gold Coast Soul development likely to trigger price revision

Alistair WalshOctober 25, 20120 min read

The receivership of developer Juniper Group's iconic Soul development is set to trigger a revision of prestige apartment prices in the Gold Coast.

The $17,000-plus per square metre typically sought for apartments in Soul is now likely to drop towards pricing in other unsold new high prestige developments in the Gold Coast.

The latest Midwood report noted the 77-storey Soul development was the priciest of the three ultra-high rise developments.

Of a total 288 units in the building, Midwood listed 92 remaining unsold while noting the developer was not officially participating in the survey.

The priciest apartments in Soul were the three-bedroom two-bathroom configurations, which were selling for $19,321 per square metre.

The cheapest were the two-bedroom, two-bathroom configurations, which were selling for $16,592 per square metre.

This is compared with the Oracle development, where prices range from $7,970 per square metre to $12,121 per square metre and the Hilton development, where prices ranged from $13,299 per square metre to $14,645.

The Midwood found sales for high-rise apartments in the Gold Coast totalled 54 for the August quarter, “excluding Soul and Hilton, each of which refuse to report sales because they are embarrassingly low”.

The development has been placed in the hands of receivers at PricewaterhouseCoopers on Thursday.

“The challenges facing the real estate market in the Gold Coast area are well known and have been impacting the major developers in the area for some time," receiver Michael Fung noted.

"These challenges, together with the slower than expected completion and delays in settlements on pre-sold stock, meant that the receivership of this world-class development was unsurprising,” says Fung.

Juniper Group had enlisted legal support from Norton Rose to pursue buyers who had been unable or unwilling to settle after committing to buy apartments.

“Many of the apartments have been pre-sold, and we will be working through the settlement process to deliver those apartments to purchasers,” Fung says.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland spokesman John Newlands told The ABC the economy had taken a turn for the worse shortly after construction on the tower began.

"The original purchase price of the land was when the market was at its height and obviously construction and labour costs were at their peak," he said.

"To put a product like that into the marketplace, it can come at a considerable cost.

"But the marketplace is saying something different now and unfortunately they're not able to achieve the prices they were previously sold for."

Alistair Walsh

Deutsche Welle online reporter
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