Friday 15 December 2017

Nama chief makes dramatic accusations of land hoarding amid housing shortage crisis

Nama building
Nama building
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

The head of Nama has dramatically accused funds he sold billions of euro worth of property assets to of now hoarding the lands to beef up their profits.

Just 6pc of land bought from Nama has been built on, according to CEO Brendan McDonagh, who was speaking at the launch of NAMA's annual report today.

He said the agency had sold enough land to build 50,000 homes but just 3,000 have actually been delivered.

While he said the reasons housing construction on those sites is so slow must be examined, he named hoarding by landowner as a significant factor.

“That is a huge issue in my view”.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said constitutional concerns regarding property rights had prevented so called “use it or lose it” taxes being brought in to force more land into development, but the way was now clear for action.

He said a vacant site levy was the best approach to punish land hoarding, he said.

“It can be brought in now,” he added, and indicated that his successor will bring in a new levy in the Budget for next year.

Nama expects to make a surplus of €3bn once its last assets have been sold off.

It is €700m more than previously expected.

The money is the difference between the €32bn cost of setting up Nama and the cash raised by the agency.

The bulk of cash raised by Nama has gone to the banks, the final balance will be paid back to the Exchequer.

Nama has reported a profit for 2016 of €1.5bn.

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