Throsby property

Homebuyers left in lurch after developer backflips on sales three years after deal

PHOTO: Peter O’Dwyer and his children Charlotte, Savannah and Arianna were excited to move into their new home. (ABC News: Simon Beardsell)

Peter O’Dwyer, a single dad with three daughters, bought an off-the-plan townhouse in Canberra’s north in 2018.

The place was perfect — room for him and his daughters — and it was also about 500 metres from their mother.

But in May the developer, 3 Property Group, rescinded its contract for the Throsby property — despite having been paid a deposit.

“My heart sunk, it was just devastating,” Mr O’Dwyer said.


3 Property Group said the company had been “blasted by unfortunate events” – including a “significant dispute with the original builder” – since the contracts were signed.

It said it had re-designed the homes and was still planning to complete the Vivace development project.

Canberra is currently in a historic property boom, with values consistently rising every month since April 2019.

Mr O’Dwyer said that left him and his children with hardly any options — he was forced out of work for six months due to injuries sustained from a motorcycle crash.

“Now we have to try and buy something in this ridiculous market where everything is overpriced it just does not give us a chance,” he said.

Mr O’Dwyer said he offered the developers an extra $50,000 for the property that was initially his but they refused his deal.

The townhouse has now been resold for about $140,000 above what he was originally going to pay.

“That is probably what hurts the most … and then there is also the three years’ worth of rent I have had to pay,” he said.

Mr O’Dwyer is just one of several people the ABC has spoken to, who have been impacted by 3 Property Group pulling out of the deal.