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Banks sit tight on Carroll properties

House hunters hoping to pick up some of Liam Carroll's 900 plus apartments around Dublin will have to wait until next year at the earliest before they can expect any of them to come to the market -- even then any discount may be relatively close to market value.

The banks, which have sent in their receivers, are sitting tight and currently feel that they are not under any pressure to sell.

This is because as many as 80pc of the apartments are already let, according to informed sources.

Consequently the banks are generating rental income to help pay off some of the €2 billion which they are owed.

If they were to try selling them in the current market they would have to sacrifice this rental income in order to offer buyers vacant possession and such a sacrifice would prove costly at a time when potential customers are slow to buy.

There is also the prospect that the loans secured against the apartments will be transferred to NAMA and so the banks might get a better price from NAMA than they would on the open market.

Government adviser Alan Ahearne last week told the Irish Auctioneers and Valuers Institute conference that NAMA will not sit on everything for years and will sell some properties early in its existence in order to generate funds.

This will provide a more orderly approach to the market as sales are spread more evenly over NAMA's lifetime. So some buyers will be hoping that for this reason NAMA could well bring some of the Carroll apartments to the market in 2011. The forthcoming opening of the Lansdowne stadium may prove a factor encouraging demand for flats in the nearby Alliance Building.

Irish Independent