THE NUMBER OF ghost estates on the books of the National Assets Management Agency (Nama) that are yet to be resolved has fallen from 332 in 2010 to 47 in 2015.
In its annual review published today, the asset management agency, which was set up after the banking and property sector collapse, said that number will be resolved during 2016.
Today’s report states that by end of year 2015, Nama had a cash balance of €3.4 billion.
The agency said it had €9.1 billion in cash generation in 2015, and €32.7 billion total cash has been generated since its inception in 2010.
In terms of loan and asset sales, the agency said it had made €8.5 billion in 2015, and €27.2 billion total sales since 2010.
There has been criticism of Nama’s approach to the selling of assets, with Tasc’s Rory Hearne stating that the consensus view that welcomes Nama selling off its assets and paying down its debt quicker than planned is wrong.
We are losing billions from the sale of massively discounted assets, losing from the higher prices from foreign investment, and losing the potential to use these assets to provide a social return over the longer term through the provision of social and affordable housing.
Nama states the cash generated last year means it is well in excess of last year’s target of €7.4 billion.
Disposal of loans
The principal disposal transactions in 2015 were Project Jewel – loans secured by a number of prominent retail assets, including Dundrum Town Centre – and Project Arrow.
The Arrow portfolio comprised loans with debt balances of €6.2 billion.
Project Arrow hit the headlines this year, when Independent TD Mick Wallace called for a suspension of the project.
However, in the midst of a housing crisis, Nama’s annual report states that it has provided 2,000 social housing homes by the year-end of 2015. In addition, it states 2,300 new homes have been funded.
Dubin City Council was allocated the most, with 379, followed by Cork County Council with 280, and Westmeath County Council with 220 delivered.
Another 5,000 units have received planning permission with construction expected to begin on the majority of these in 2016, while planning applications have been lodged or will be lodged within 12 months for another 9,900 units, states the agency.
Nama says another 32,500 units are at the pre-planning stage or feasibility stages.
Construction on Nama’s Dublin Docklands development has started on a number of sites, with the agency stating it will deliever over 1.3 million square feet of commercial space and 346 residential units.
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