Ouch, Bellevue Hill buyer says goodbye to $277,500 deposit

Property developer Peter Zhu has pulled out on an agreed $5.55 million Bellevue Hill house purchase, forgoing a $277,500 deposit in the process.
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The failed deal comes four months after Mr Zhu exchanged on the property with an initial 5 per cent deposit paid up front, and a further 5 per cent deposit due last month to hold the property over an extended eight-month settlement.

However, last month Mr Zhu failed to come through with the second half of the deposit and it was returned to the market on Monday.

Patrick Cosgrove, of Raine & Horne Double Bay, who sold it last time, has set a $5 million guide for the property ahead of an October 12 auction.

Records show the Bundarra Road property is owned by Gillian Stals, whose husband Andrew Stals is a former lawyer who founded the corporate advisory Minerva Capital Partners.

The Stals bought the almost 1000-square-metre property in 2011 for $3.6 million, and returned it to the market pitched as a DA opportunity with approval for a four-level mansion with a glass-fronted swimming pool and a tennis court.

Mr Zhu’s role as head of property developer LB Group and spearheading the redevelopment of Gosford’s Mariner’s Plaza into a two-tower complex made him an ideal buyer given his own plans to redevelop the property into his forever home.

Mr Zhu’s business dealings in first made headlines in 1999 when his contract to sell Olympic Club memberships in China in the lead up to the Sydney Olympics was cancelled by the Sydney Organising Committee. The matter went all the way to the High Court, which ruled in 2004 that NSW taxpayers should pay him $4.23 million for the wrongful termination of his contract.

Mr Zhu is just one of a few high-end home buyers who have walked away from their purchase, costing them their deposit in the process. Related: Robby Ingham returns Tamarama home to marketRelated: Buyer defaults on purchase of Cate Blanchett’s homeRelated: Buyers walk away from sales at St Albans auctions

The Tamarama beachfront reserve home of fashion industry pioneer Robby Ingham exchanged for more than $13 million a year ago to an Asia-based expat buyer who later pulled out of the deal, forcing the property back onto the market. It sold last month for $13 million to DJ Annie Conley.

The most famous example was in 2015 when Cate Blanchett’s Hunters Hill trophy home was sold for a bullish $19.8 million just weeks after it hit the market to Chinese-born property developer Richard Mingfeng Gu.

A year later it was returned to the market after he failed to complete the deal. It sold this year for $18 million to London-based expat Katrina Chandler, wife of investment banker Chris Barter.

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