Friday 9 December 2016

Nama sells land with potential for 11,000 homes but just 900 are built

Published 09/11/2015 | 02:30

It is estimated that as much as one third of all development sites currently active in the greater Dublin region are Nama-funded
It is estimated that as much as one third of all development sites currently active in the greater Dublin region are Nama-funded

Land with the potential for 11,000 residential units in the greater Dublin area has been sold by the National Assets Management Agency (Nama) in the past 18 months - but just 900 homes have been built.

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Nama is now estimated to be funding about one-third of active sites in the capital and commuter belt counties of Wicklow, Kildare, Meath and Louth.

Since the start of 2014, the agency has funded the ­construction of just over 2,000 new residential units across 46 individual development ­projects in the greater Dublin area.

The Government has tasked Nama with building 20,000 new homes by 2020 as part of its plan to end the housing crisis.

But new figures obtained by the Irish Independent show that while the agency has planning permission for 6,500 homes, just 2,100 of these are already under construction across 39 sites in the greater Dublin area.

It is estimated that as much as one third of all ­development sites currently active in the greater Dublin region are Nama-­funded.

The Nama developments range in size from just two units in Ballinteer to 243 units in Ashtown.

Planning permission is in place for a further 4,400 units across 41 development ­projects, with a spokesman for the ­agency saying construction on the bulk of sites is "expected to start in the first half of 2016".

Nama intends to submit ­planning applications over the next 12 months for a ­further 5,600 units at 42 more ­development sites, although there is no ­guarantee that permission will be granted.

Among the sites in the ­planning system is one in ­Stepaside, Co Dublin, with the potential for 410 units.

A further 10,653 possible units are on zoned lands that have no significant ­planning policy or infrastructure ­impediments.

"Planning applications will be lodged in due course, ­following the approval, where appropriate, of business cases for each site with the relevant debtors and/or receivers," a spokesman for Nama said.

He added that Nama "is not a developer" but acts "like a bank" in lending money to help fund construction. "The owners of the ­related sites or, in the case of ­enforcement, the appointed receivers/administrators are responsible for managing the development projects," they said.

This includes the ­procurement and ­management of design, planning and ­construction ­services, and the sale of the completed units.

This must be done "in line with Nama's policy on the open marketing of such sites through professionally ­accredited sales agents to achieve the best achievable price for the taxpayer from each".

The agency has generated €5.1bn in 2014 and €3.4bn in the first half of 2015 from property disposals, including commercial, office, residential and development assets.

On Saturday the Irish ­Independent revealed that Nama does not have enough completed, vacant properties in its control to make a significant dent in the housing crisis.

Just 16pc of completed homes controlled by Nama are ­currently vacant.

Some 84pc of the 7,866 ­completed residential units that it controls around the country are occupied.

In Dublin, where the housing crisis is worst, 91pc of Nama houses are occupied.

Irish Independent

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