Developer advised to play fair - if at fault
The property developer accused of giving a buyer misleading information to lure him into investing should repay the man his deposits if the allegations are proven, the head of the developers' association believes.
The Real Estate Developers Association discussed the dispute, which involves Wharf Group subsidiary Wheelock Properties, at a meeting yesterday but said it was not prepared to reprimand the developer at this stage. Wheelock said it was seeking legal advice.
The association's chairman, Stanley Ho Hung-sun, said all transactions should be fair and proper, adding he would not tolerate any abuse.
'The association discussed the issue at the meeting but Wheelock Properties asked the association not to step in at this stage because it had sought advice from barristers and it might take a couple more days,' Mr Ho said.
'But if Wheelock is in the wrong, it should pay back the buyer's downpayment,' he said.
Property investor Wu Chi-choi, who last year bought two flats at Wheelock's No 1 Plantation Road development on The Peak, claimed he had been misled into making the purchase agreements.
He claimed he paid $8.9 million in deposits between June and December for two flats in the 48-unit development. Wharf director Ricky Wong Kwong-yiu had told him four flats in the development had been sold at prices of more than $20,000 per sq ft. However, Mr Wu's lawyer found no one else had bought a flat in the block.
A press release issued in June 2005 by Wheelock Properties also said four flats there had been sold, according to press reports.
A Wheelock spokesman said that in June 2005 two transactions had been made at the block and that buyers had reserved a further three flats in the block but the transactions had not gone through.
Mr Wu could not be reached for comment.