Nama sales so far this year top €5 billion, says chairman

Nama could deliver 22,000 housing units in Dublin to help meet buyer demand

Nama chairman Frank Daly says the agency has completed more than €5 billion in asset sales so far this year. Photo: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Nama chairman Frank Daly says the agency has completed more than €5 billion in asset sales so far this year. Photo: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Fri, Jul 4, 2014, 16:52

The National Asset Management Agency has completed more than €5 billion in asset sales so far this year, with half of this in Ireland, its chairman Frank Daly said in Waterford today.

This compared with sales of €3.7 billion for the whole of 2013 and reflects the strong interest in Irish assets now as the economy continues to show signs of recovery. “We expect that trend to continue over the remainder of the year,” added Mr Daly, who was speaking at a lunch hosted by the Waterford Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Daly said Nama could also play a pivotal role in providing much-needed new housing stock in Dublin.

He said Nama sites could deliver up to half of Dublin’s residential demand over the next five years, which is estimated at between 40,000 and 50,000 houses and apartments.

Mr Daly said Nama has “shovel ready” sites that could deliver 3,000 new residential units in Dublin. Half of these are already under construction.

Other sites with development potential over the short-term could deliver another 19,000 units, he added.

“And on top of all that, Nama can call on an additional 500 hectares of development land, which could accommodate new units in Dublin if we can overcome planning and infrastructure impediments,” he explained.

In addition, Nama has another 1,000 hectares of residentially-zoned lands in counties adjoining Dublin. “ Nama ...has no intention of hoarding development land. If a residential development project can break even or do better, then we will fund it,” he told the chamber.

Mr Daly also detailed its plans for the Dublin Docklands, where 280,000 sq meters of potential new office space is under the control of Nama. He said the agency is working to “accelerate the delivery” of those offices and “you can expect to see cranes return to the Docklands very shortly”.

For example, Nama is funding the receiver to the Boland’s Mill site on Grand Canal Dock to prepare a detailed planning application for a 35,000 sq. metres mixed-use development, with an estimated gross development value of €200 million. It is intended to submit the planning application in early autumn.

In addition, the agency is seeking proposals for the purchase of a leasehold interest in a 2.35 hectares site on North Wall Quay, next to the proposed new headquarters of the Central Bank of Ireland.

A Qualifying Investor Fund (QIF) comprising Oaktree Capital Management, Bennett Group and Nama - known as South Docks Fund - is in the process of preparing a planning application for the development of 50,000 sq. metres of new commercial space in the south Docks.

Separately, City Development Fund, again involving Oaktree Capital, Bennett Group and Nama, is preparing planning applications for land and property at City Quay and Hanover Quay with a combined development potential of 17,000 sq. metres.

Mr Daly said Nama currently has more than €800 million worth of assets on the market in Ireland. These have been broken up into a number of portfolios. Redwood comprises commercial and retail properties in Dublin; Venue consists of hotels located in Cork, Kerry and Kilkenny; Orange is a portfolio of residential and commercial property; Acorn comprises three shopping centres in Dublin, Cork and Tipperary; and Project Spring is a €440 million loan portfolio secured on offices and apartments in Dublin and Kildare, and offices in London.

Mr Daly reiterated Nama’s previous position that it will have repaid half of its €30.2 billion in senior debt by the end of this year, two years ahead of schedule.

Mr Daly said Nama is “cautiously optimistic” of generating a surplus for the State and its work would be completed ahead of the 2020 wind-up date originally set by the Government “assuming market conditions remain supportive”.