The London Sunday Times (not available online without subscription) is today reporting that NAMA has sold Updown Court, the 50,000 sq ft mansion on 58-acres in Surrey, just outside London. The Daily Mail has picked up on the story, which gives that paper the opportunity to again use its rich stock of photographs of the property. Updown Court was shown on the NAMA foreclosure list at the end of August 2011, meaning the agency had taken control of the property.
NAMA hasn’t commented on the sale as is its practice, but on the face of it, the sale represents a solid success for the agency. The sale price is reported to be GBP 35m (€40m). It had previously been reported in the press – though naturally not confirmed by NAMA – that NAMA had acquired the underlying loan for the property for GBP 20m (€23m). If the reporting of the sale price and the NAMA-acquisition price are accurate, then NAMA will have generated a profit of GBP 15m (€17m) before costs. Of course Irish Nationwide Building Society has suffered a massive loss on the original loan, but at least NAMA seems to have done its job.
The buyer of Updown Court remains a mystery and is said to be a “foreign businessman”. If unsuccessful buyers want to check out Ireland’s most expensive house, here it is – Walford on Shrewsbury Road in Dublin, a derelict mediocre Edwardian property which has been extensively vandalised, it comes with two acres. Savills seems to think it has an Advised Minimum Value of €15m!
UPDATE: 30th January, 2012. It seems as if the sale of the mansion has just completed for GBP 36m (€43m) and Property Week claims this is GBP 27m less than the borrowing associated with the property. The buyer is said to be from the Middle East.