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Banks' property 'fire sale' set to generate €230m

NON NAMA banks are expected to bring up to 1,300 properties for auction this year and these could generate more than €230m in property sales. However NAMA has rejected suggestions that it is coming under pressure to follow the Allsop Space auction with an auction of NAMA properties.

Stephen McCarthy, of Allsop Space, says that he doesn't know how many properties are likely to be offered by non NAMA banks but he expects to have as many as 200 properties in his agency's next auction on July 7.

He also hopes to increase the number of commercial properties for the July auction from 12 to around 50 and these are likely to include more pharmacies.

"Last Friday showed an appetite from investors for commercial properties generating rents," he explains.

In a reference to the €15m of properties that were sold at the Allsop Space auction last Friday, another property expert told the Irish Independent that NAMA can't afford to lose a further €15m of property sales to the non-NAMA banks. A NAMA auction would also address the concern raised by Taoiseach Enda Kenny about the secrecy surrounding NAMA operations.

Nevertheless a NAMA spokesman said that there are no plans to follow the mass auction lead set by Allsop.

"NAMA only holds the loans and we expect the owners of properties to sell them at reasonable prices," he added.

A NAMA auction could have a competitive advantage over Allsop if the state agency brings in its financing proposals. One source suggested that NAMA could instruct its banks to offer a draft letter of credit with each NAMA funded property being auctioned.

This would enable NAMA to auction more valuable property than that offered by Allsop. Cash buyers accounted for about 75pc of Allsop sales and most of these were for less than €200,000.

But Buyer's Broker Carol Tallon cautions prospective buyers to undertake due diligence for investment properties which they aim to bid for within the short auction time frame.

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