Saturday 17 March 2018

Nama sold land for 11,000 homes, but only 700 built

Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh
Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh
Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

NAMA has sold enough residential land to hold thousands of new homes in Dublin, but hardly any have been built so far.

State bad bank chief executive Brendan McDonagh told an investor conference in Dublin that his agency has offloaded enough land zoned for residential development to hold 11,000 new homes so far. However only 700 or so units have been built to date.

Mr McDonagh was speaking at a conference hosted by Davy Stockbrokers. The event was private but a Nama spokesman confirmed the veracity of Mr McDonagh's comments.

The Irish Independent understands that when asked a question from the floor, Mr McDonagh said that Nama has sold residential development sites to private investors and developers with the capacity to deliver 11,000 new housing units in Dublin but, to date, less than 700 of these have been built.

He added that Nama appears to be able to move "more quickly" on housing supply than the market generally and that its role in housing supply was consistent with its objective of maximising the return on its acquired loans for tax payers, whlie at the same time helping to address supply shortages in "key segments" of the commercial and residential property market.

The agency said it has sold the land to "to private investors and developers with the capacity" with the ability to build the maximum number of units for a site.

Mr McDonagh's comments reflect the situation in other parts of the Dublin housing market.

A report from the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland last year showed that there was enough land zoned for more than 100,000 homes in Dublin and its surrounding area, but only a fraction of those houses were being built.

The Nama chief added that it had funded more than half of all new housing output in the first half of this year, despite the fact that it now holds barely a third of residential development sites in the capital at this stage.

That propertion however should drop as new entrants into the market increase output.

In the meantime however Mr McDonagh said the agency will continue to drive the construction of viable residential developments in what he described as areas of greatest need.

Overall the executive said Nama was still on course to have renewed 80pc of its Nama bonds by the end of 2016.

It will also continue to focus on stimulating residential and commercial property development while "maximising value for the taxpayer".

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