When the Unlock NAMA people occupied the office building on Dublin’s Great Strand Street in January this year, there was amazement on here that they were able to even find the place given that it was NAMA had given it an incorrect address on its enforcement list, and described it as a warehouse. Seven months on and NAMA’s enforcement listing is still a national disgrace. One of NAMA’s most prominent foreclosed properties in Northern Ireland, a 96-acre development site on the outskirts of Belfast has come onto the market, but I would challenge you to (a) find it on NAMA’s website and (b) establish from NAMA’s website that it is for sale.
The property is in Dundonald in County Down, and if you were to go to NAMA’s enforcement listing facility, you might face a challenge finding it. NAMA’s enforcement list has only three countries – Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain. But how many counties are there in Northern Ireland? Six, you might have said, but according to NAMA there are 16!
Nonetheless, enter “Down” as the county and you will then be able to select “Dundonald” from the “Town/Area” filter. But alas, you won’t find one of NAMA’s most significant properties in Northern Ireland that way.
What you need do is enter one of NAMA’s 16 counties, “Belfast” as the county. And under “Belfast” there is an option for “Dundonald” and that’s how you will find the property.
And yet when you do find the property, it is listed as “Not for Sale”!
Which is contradicted by this newspaper advertisement from last week, where expressions are sought by 6th September, 2012!
The site in question is partly developed, and has been owned in the past by the Taggart brothers and a company in which Lagan Homes was a partner. The site was to accommodate 100 homes in its first phase with a plan for an additional 500 later on. 25 people had paid deposits for houses but these were returned.
Brendan McDonagh is the chief executive officer of NAMA and he is ultimately responsible for this enforcement listing which is the most sought after information held at NAMA that is publicly available. It is bad enough that NAMA has been selling property off-market, like the two separate land-banks in Cork, it is bad enough that NAMA is selling property off-market to its own employees, it is bad enough that NAMA no longer provides a full listing of its foreclosed property in one document and it seems that NAMA hasn’t updated its listing since June, but to see – by accident – one of the most significant properties in Northern Ireland come onto the market and to then see the errors on NAMA’s foreclosure listing facility is a disgrace, and one which falls firmly on Brendan McDonagh’s shoulders.
UPDATE: 23rd August, 2012. Although NAMA is not dismissing the prospect of purchase offers being made for the site in response to the above advertisement, it is saying that the Baker Tilly advertisement is seeking development proposals, which is why the site is not listed for sale on the NAMA website at present.