Last stand over McEwan project


Eight years after signing to buy Queenstown apartments, five buyers who reneged on their deals are off to the Supreme Court.

The out-of-town investors would otherwise face throwing away hundreds of thousands of dollars on Queenstown Hill’s Bowen View apartments they’ll never own.

A recent Supreme Court judgment now allows them to challenge an adverse Court of Appeal verdict from March this year.

The Appeal Court overturned a High Court ruling that the buyers were justified in backing out because the developers – part of the now-defunct McEwan Group – didn’t complete the apartments in line with sale and purchase agreements. 

The Appeal Court said the McEwan breaches weren’t “material or substantial” and could have been easily compensated for. Bowen View prices have plummeted – one buyer who signed up for $1.1 million in 2005 had his unit valued in 2008 at just $535,000.

If the investors ultimately lose, it’s understood they’ll be liable for the difference between the price they signed for and the sum their unit later fetched at mortgagee auction.