Monday 23 September 2019

Nama ahead of social housing target as analysts say it will return €4.5bn to State

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Nama says it has exceeded its target to deliver 2,000 social housing units.

Up to the end of June this year, Nama had identified 6,984 of its residential units as potentially suitable for social housing and local authorities took 2,717, the agency said.

The agency says its second quarter profit was €223m.

Cash of €1.5bn generated in the first half of this year means total cash raised since the agency was established stands at €42bn.

The vast bulk of that has been used to repay Nama's debt, which it racked up in order to purchase bad loans from the banks. The move was designed to free up the banks by removing the toxic debts from their balance sheets.

Investec chief economist Philip O'Sullivan said the numbers published yesterday mean Nama will eventually return more cash to the exchequer than its own forecasts suggest.

The Government has repeatedly said any money that is returned will be used to pay down the national debt, rather than for spending on things like housing or healthcare.

"The agency's guidance of lifetime earnings of €3.5bn is too low - we see Nama returning at least €4.5bn to the Exchequer," Mr O'Sullivan said.

The agency said its principal objective for next year is to press ahead with funding projects in the Dublin docklands, and in residential property.

It is increasingly under pressure to play a major role in the housing market. The agency said it has so far delivered either directly or indirectly in excess of 10,000 residential units between the start of 2014 and August 2018.

Nama has directly funded 7,881 completed units, while another 11,000 units are either under construction or have secured planning permission.

Sites with capacity for a further 8,000 units are either filed for planning or are expected to be within 12 months. Nama is due to be eventually wound up by 2020.

Irish Independent

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