Monday 9 December 2019

Nama close to deal to deliver up to 5,000 homes in the capital

The Treasury Building on Dublin’s Grand Canal Street which houses Nama. Photo: Steve Humphreys
The Treasury Building on Dublin’s Grand Canal Street which houses Nama. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Peter Flanagan

Nama is set to sign off on a plan with three developers that could see thousands of homes built in south Dublin.

The agency is said to be close to agreeing terms with developers John Flynn, Paddy Kelly and the McCormack family, which controls the property firm Alanis. Under the deal, which has not been concluded and could still fall apart, Nama would sell off the loans tied to the developers, but retain development land which had formed part of their portfolio.

Nama will then hire Mr Flynn, Mr Kelly and the McCormacks to build homes on the sites in Carrickmines and Sandyford in Dublin, and Bray in Co Wicklow. Industry sources believe the sites could potentially hold up to 5,000 homes, but other property experts believe that figure would be overblown.

Any new home development in the Dublin area will be welcomed, given the shortage of housing around the capital.

By most estimates, Dublin needs about 25,000 homes per year in order to meet demand. However barely half that figure is being delivered at present.

Construction has even slowed in recent months, with developers blaming the high cost of construction and the uncertainty created by the Central Bank rules which restrict mortgage levels. This would be the second time that Nama has been prepared to sell the portfolio tied to the three developers.

Last year Nama pulled the loan sale, dubbed "Project Tolka" as Mr Flynn was in talks to refinance some of his debts.

Project Tolka featured loans tied to the three with a face value of €1.5bn. Many of the loans were interlinked, as the McCormacks and Mr Kelly apparently jointly invested in a number of projects.

Nama prepared that portfolio for sale after an approach by US private equity firm LoneStar, which has spent millions on property here since the crash.

LoneStar may again seek to buy the portfolio, although the market in Dublin has flagged in recent weeks with a number of big property sales either missing the asking price or taking longer to complete.

Nama declined to comment.

Irish Independent

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