Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Buyers to pay for flats’ lost value

Four people who bought apartments but did not complete the deals because of the property market crash are to pay the developers for their loss in value.

PBN Property, which took defaulting purchasers to court, is also to retain ownership of the Woodland Manor flats in south Belfast as part of an out-of-court settlement, it emerged yesterday.

The firm launched proceedings against some clients who signed up to buy homes on the new development at Stockman's Way in 2008.

It had already reached agreement with a number of purchasers who failed to complete on contracted sales last October.

Now it has emerged that a further four of the remaining cases were settled after the retraction of a counter claim by defendants.

Under the terms of the resolution PBN Property will keep ownership of the apartments, which can be put back onto the market.

The defendants have also agreed to pay PBN's costs plus full losses, based on differences between the original contracted price and a current valuation of the property.

So far all other defaulting purchasers at Woodlands Manor development have either completed, paid damages to PBN Property or been ordered by the High Court to complete. With prices having plunged since their 2007 peak, many homes are now worth less than the original selling price, leaving some banks reluctant to agree mortgages,

This means that those who are unable to find the money for property they agreed to buy could lose big deposits or face a claim for the total cost.

A spokesperson for PBN Property said: “We are happy to see these actions reach a successful conclusion.

“We have honoured our commitment to deliver a high quality, contemporary residential scheme in a superb location and we reasonably expected buyers to complete the sales for which they signed up, as we would have to do in any agreed business contract.”

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