Saturday 20 December 2014

Nama to demolish 'handful' of ghost estates

Tom Lyons

Published 24/02/2013 | 04:00

The National Asset Management Agency plans to demolish only half a dozen ghost estates around the country.

The agency's debtors account for 29 of the 243 most problematic or category four unfinished estates. It also has 10 per cent of the 1,500 category three estates which are at the next level down in terms of problem estates.

The agency has spent about €3m on remedial work on these estates to ensure they are not a threat to the public. Having reviewed its portfolio the agency plans to demolish only a small number of its estates.

To date it has only pulled down one ghost estate – the Gleann Riada project in Longford – but it is currently working on a small shortlist of others. Instead of just pulling all of the estates down as part of a plan discussed last week by Nama chairman Frank Daly, the agency will instead seek to realise value from them between now and 2020.

In a speech last week, Daly said: "There is now a need for some entity at a national level to take a central, co-ordinating, policy development role in relation to the residential property market, particularly in terms of identifying the areas where future housing shortages are likely to arise and how such shortages (can) be addressed."

He also said that Nama has funded economic think-tank the ESRI for two years to produce new research on housing. Daly said it was "surprising" such an initiative had not been undertaken before.

Irish Independent

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