19.3 C
Byron Shire
May 22, 2024

Byron luxury estate agent goes into liquidation

Latest News

NSW Gov’t promises to fast-track super battery storage

State government investment in major battery projects across NSW is to be increased and fast-tracked, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Penny Sharpe said on Wednesday.

Other News

Fed gov’t doubles funds for local road repairs

Local governments across the state are to share in $1.2 billion worth of commonwealth funding for local roads over the next five years.

Appeal to locate man missing from Mullumbimby

Police are appealing for public assistance to locate a man missing from Mullumbimby.

Dance for Brazil

The Mahico and Aruanda crews are joining hands to invite the entire community to be a part of Dance for Brazil – a day to flood Brazil with support, this Sunday in Byron Bay.

NSW gears up for humpback migration with expanded disentanglement team

An expanded team of specialised rescuers are poised and ready to launch as tens of thousands of majestic humpback whales begin their annual migration along the NSW coastline.

New Murwillumbah pump station build underway

There is no denying that Murwillumbah floods and locals are hoping that the construction of a new stormwater pump...

Northern Rivers will host the 2025 and 2027 NSW Bowls Championships

Ballina is set to host the 2025 and 2027 State Bowls Championships that will see over 900 competitors vying...

Luxury Byron Bay based real estate agent Unique Estates has gone to the wall owing staff wages.

Paul Bibby

Unique Estates was born from a single sale in the Byron Bay hinterland and grew into a prestige property agency with offices across Australia and Asia.

But the empire crumbled into the sea last week when it was announced that the company had gone into liquidation.

Employees at the company’s Byron Bay office were among those who received an email from founder Nicolette Wijngaarden informing them that ‘bank accounts are frozen and there are no funds’.

‘It is with great sadness that I inform you that Unique Estates is going into liquidation today and you are to stop work straight away,’ Ms Winjgaarden said in the email, which was published on the property news website Property Observer.

‘Wages cannot be paid tomorrow.’

‘I am so very sorry it has come to this. Please know I did everything I could to prevent it.’

Unique Estates’ website was shut down within hours of the announcement to staff, and its seven offices across Australia and in Hong Kong quickly emptied.

Ms Wijngaarden did not return The Echo’s calls and the liquidator, McGrath Nicol, has instructed staff not to talk about the company’s collapse. However, The Echo understands staff are shocked and upset by the announcement, which few saw coming.

Property Observer reported that Unique Estates also represented around 32 vendors at the time of the collapse.

Ms Wijngaarden founded Unique Estates in 2009 as a company specialising in luxury, high-end properties.

It began when she decided to help her partner sell his house in the Byron Bay hinterland and realised there was a niche that needed filling.

In the ensuing years, the agency expanded significantly, producing a luxury property publication distributed through Qantas lounges around the world and launching a yacht- and jet-charter business.

While little light has been shed on the reason for the collapse, it is understood that recent changes to foreign-ownership laws were a blow to the business’s bottom line.

Unique Estates was well known for finding rich foreign investors happy to pay top dollar for beautifully situated Australian homes.

Once the federal government introduced restrictions on this type of practice, business for Unique Estates became more challenging.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

NSW gov’t opens Tweed Valley Hospital

The NSW government is to officially open the $723.3 million Tweed Valley Hospital today after the transferral of patients to the new facility last week.

Fed gov’t doubles funds for local road repairs

Local governments across the state are to share in $1.2 billion worth of commonwealth funding for local roads over the next five years.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Why are we so blasé about violent pornography?

Why is it a turn on to hurt us? Recent intersectional studies have shown that online misogyny and violent pornography are contributors to a sharp rise in domestic violence. In NSW alone, police attend 500 incidents every day. If there were 500 threats or incidents at banks, or to the government, we would be in a state of emergency. Instead we stop, shake our heads, we listen to good men in government speak empty words, make a few promises, and move on. If you’ve ever lived through violence, it’s pretty well what your abuser does after hitting you.

Trains on roads

Soon we will have electric self-driving cars. The number of cars around the world could drop to ten per cent because most people won’t...