It may be a couple more weeks before the Office of Public Works produces its annual report on rent payments made by State agencies to private landlords, but in the Dail on Tuesday, it was revealed that we are paying approximately €30m per annum to NAMA and its developers, and that sum compares with the €129m in total paid to all private landlords in 2010 – in other words, nearly one quarter of all rent payments by the State are going to NAMA.
Surprising? I actually thought it would be a higher proportion. Remember that NAMA paid €9.25bn for Irish commercial property loans by reference to November 2009 values. And given the propensity for landlords to release equity in their property during the boom for further development/speculation, I would have expected far more than a quarter of all State rent payments to have been to NAMA and its developers. But even 25% shows the colossal role NAMA has in the commercial property market in this State.
Alas, there will now not be any more Parliamentary Questions until September 2012. with the Dail breaking up for the Summer recess today, but it would be interesting to know what percentage of the €30m is actually paid to NAMA or to NAMA’s benefit. Recently at the public accounts committee hearing, NAMA disclosed that more than two years after it started acquiring developers’ loans, only 86% of rents received by developers were in fact paid over to NAMA or to NAMA’s benefit. NAMA says that it hopes that by the end of this year, that will have risen to 100%.
Information detailing the properties rented by the State from NAMA and its developers arose from a question from Deputy Pat Deering to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. The full exchange is here.
“Deputy Pat Deering: further to Parliamentary Question No. 50 of 6 June 2012, if he will provide the number of properties owned by the National Asset Management Agency that are rented by the State; and the total amount of rent paid annually on a county basis. [34483/12]
Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan: I am advised by NAMA that it does not own nor does it manage properties securing its loans and that the properties to which the Deputy refers are under the control of its debtors and receivers. NAMA advises that the income arising from the rental by state bodies of approximately 82 NAMA debtor and receiver properties is of the order of €30 million per annum. NAMA advises that 48 properties are located in Dublin and the neighbouring counties of Wicklow, Kildare and Meath; these account for 76% of total annual rental income. There are 24 properties located in counties Limerick, Cork and Galway and these account for a further 21% of total income. The residual 10 properties are located throughout the rest of Ireland and account for 3% of rental income. The further breakdown by number and county sought by the Deputy would lead to the identification of specific properties, breaching Sections 99 and 202 of the NAMA Act, under which NAMA is prohibited from disclosing confidential details relating to its debtors or their properties, and the obligation on its debtors and receivers to uphold the confidentiality of agreements entered into with third parties.”