There’s a reason buyers snapped up $1.68 billion worth of Ralan Group’s future Gold Coast developments before a single sod was turned. The result has been described as a “Ponzi-style” program, ultimately leading to the group’s crushing downfall.
Kathleen Skene, Business editor, Gold Coast Bulletin Subscriber only|August 15, 2019 5:04am
Look at the Ralan Group's first Gold Coast project, the Ruby Collection in Surfers Paradise.
PROMISES of astronomical interest rate returns saw thousands of buyers swarm to buy $1.68 billion worth of Ralan Group’s future Gold Coast developments before a single sod was turned.
The spending spree, which the administrator has described as a “Ponzi-style” program, saw more than 82 per cent of unbuilt units in Ruby and Sapphire pre-sold and is thought to have ultimately contributed to the group’s spectacular $500 million-plus collapse.
Administrators are analysing bank statements and accounts to trace more than $277 million in deposits after buyers were tempted by interest returns of 15 per cent to sign them over to Ralan Group as unsecured loans.
UK-born Ralan Group head William O’Dwyer, once thought to be the Gold Coast’s largest private landholder, declined a request to surrender his passport to administrators of his 58 failed companies, but assured them he wouldn’t skip the country. He is co-operating with the administrators.
Preliminary figures released by administrators from Grant Thornton revealed Ralan had contracts for 1885 of the 2288 apartments slated for the entire six-tower Surfers Paradise site, currently home to Paradise Resort.
For the only completed Ruby tower, there were 219 settlements from the 243 apartments.
Buyers in the projects paid an average 14 per cent deposit on the apartments, with some paying as high as 40 per cent.