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Cash buyer says NAMA taking too long to release properties

Proinsias O Naraigh posted an ad in the Irish Times looking for six to 12 unit apartment block – because he says he got tired of waiting for NAMA to sort out paperwork.

Georgian houses on Henrietta Street, Dublin.
Georgian houses on Henrietta Street, Dublin.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

NAMA IS TAKING four to five months to release properties despite all approvals being given, a property developer has claimed to TheJournal.ie.

Proinsias O Naraigh said that properties that have been on the market that have received approval for sale from the vendor and auctioneer are not being released by NAMA because the Agency is failing to work itself through a mound of paperwork.

“There’s a lot of red tape which is turning off a lot of Irish and foreign investors looking to get into the market,” he told TheJournal.ie.

Many Georgian properties are offering very attractive yields of 10 per cent in areas such as Baggot Street and Leeson Street. However, NAMA is refusing to release them, he says.

O Naraigh placed a small ad at the back of yesterday’s Irish Times, saying he was a cash buyer looking to buy apartment blocks that were six to 12 units in size in Dublin. This was the ad:

NAMA had no official response to O Naraigh’s claims when they were put to them by TheJournal.ie but sources close to Agency said that they generally operated under a quick turnaround time. In a statement he made before an Oireachtas Committee on 8 March, NAMA Chairman Frank Daly said NAMA had “a robust but efficient credit approval process that decides on individual credit applications with an average turnaround time of six days”.

O’Naraigh’s advertisement comes as Allsops gears up for its next auction of distressed properties in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin on 6 July.

According to Robert Hoban, Associate Director at the agency, over 50 per cent of buyers at the auctions are cash buyers.

“Before everything turned it was all finance,” he told TheJournal.ie. He added:

If everyone was paying in cash, the banks wouldn’t be in the situation that we are in now. But lending is down 93 per cent now, which means cash kicks in.

He said that a substantial number of the cash buyers were Irish people living overseas in Dubai, Australia and elsewhere who have been waiting several years for property prices to come down. There are typically 50 in every auction, he says. The percentage of sales to overseas bidders is around 15 per cent he added.

Read: Moody’s says house prices to fall by a further 20 per cent >

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