The Rae's on Watego"s guesthouse at Byron Bay is back on the market after its $20 million purchaser failed to settle the October 2012 pre-auction deal.
''We had much genuine interest in Rae's at the auction, and I'm annoyed about this situation, having exchanged a signed contract with guarantees from a reputable international businessman who has not delivered,'' owner Vincent Rae told Fairfax Media, having returned from his Paris base to undertake the re-marketing of the beachfront property.
The Marine Parade, Wategos Beach property had been scheduled for early 2013 settlement, but denied whispers began to circulate that the sale was not proceeding.
In January Rae told News Ltd papers that he intended to meet with the intending buyer, the hedge fund manager William Morris in London in late January to discuss the delayed settlement.
Only last Thursday Property Observer was advised the sale was proceeding.
"News to me," a conjunctional selling agent said when Property Observer suggested the sale was not proceeding.
During the marketing campaign, the conjunctional agents issued 25 contracts to local and international parties, but just minutes before the auction, there was an announcement that contracts had just been exchanged and the property was sold.
Located on a prized 1,049-square-metre beachfront Marine Parade block, the property was set for auction through Ray White Hotels agents Tony Bargwanna and Andrew Jolliffe in conjunction with Gerald Delany of Kay & Burton in Melbourne.
The auction was scheduled for 2pm but following last minute negotiations, the auctioneer Andrew Bell, of Ray White Surfers Paradise, announced the property had sold.
"It's a momentous day," he told the large waiting curious crowd which included representatives of a Chinese investor with coalmining interests in Australia.
The selling agents have declined to give any indicative pricing, although the local paper says it fetched more than $21 million.
The agents expected interest from hoteliers, but it would mostly likely attract considerable residential buyer interest. There is recent approval for a new underground car park, cocktail bar, lift, sub-penthouse, spa area and a 200-square-metre entertaining terrace.
It charges between $600 to $1,380 a night.
Rae's is opposite the 1,406-square-metre record-setting holding bought by property developer Danny Goldberg for $15.68 million in boomtime 2006.
It was 1994 when the Rae's property sold for $1.37 million.