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Archive for October 26th, 2012

Sources are this afternoon claiming that Gortanore, the 3-acre site with a modest house in Foxrock, Dublin is under offer by the embassy of Saudi Arabia for a price a little north of the €5m asking price when it came on the market in August 2012. The property was the most expensive residence sold in Ireland in 2006 but its €31m price then reflected its development potential and there were plans to build apartment blocks with some commercial space. The property was owned by David Arnold of D2 Private fame. Neither of the joint agents, Jones Lang LaSalle or Daphne L Kaye had any comment at time of writing.

Separately , the property which was the subject of most expensive residential property transaction ever in Ireland – the Sean Dunne-associated €58m purchase of Walford at 24 Shewsbury Road – which went on the market a year ago with a price tag of €15m appears not to have been sold. In the Dail this week, the Sinn Fein finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty asked the justice minister Alan Shatter if the property had been sold. He was told it hasn’t been sold.

The full parliamentary question and response is here.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Questions No.183 and 184 of 9 October 2012, if there has been a sale of a property known as Walford at 24 Shrewsbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 during the period covered by the recent release of data by the Property Services Regulatory Authority in its property price register, and if there has been a sale of said property, if he will provide the sale price, the date of the sale and the quantum of stamp duty paid to the State on the sale.

Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter: The information included in the Residential Property Price Register is compiled from data filed with the Revenue Commissioners for Stamp Duty Purposes. I am advised by the Property Services Regulatory Authority, which has responsibility for the Register, that all properties filed with the Revenue Commissioners in the period 1 January 2010 to 19 October 2012 are on the Register and that the property referred to by the Deputy is not included.

The Residential Property Price Register provides information on the address of the property, its sale price and date of sale. The Register does not provide any information on the quantum of stamp duty paid to the State, which is solely a matter for the Revenue Commissioners.

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We learn from today’s Iris Oifigiuil that NAMA has had receivers appointed to assets at twop companies, both of which have been financially embattled for some time.  NAMA has had Liam Dowdall of Smith & Williamson Freaney appointed as receiver to the following assets at P Elliot & Company Limited

(1) 133 and 134 New Seskin Court, Tallaght, Dublin 24, and the rents and profits deriving therefrom
(2) 305 Harbour Point Business Park, Little Island, Cork;
(3) Apartment 90, Block B, Temple Court, Northwood, Santry
(4) No. 17, Knightsbrook Park, Trim, County Meath
and the rents and profits deriving therefrom

P Elliot had receivers and liquidators appointed in June 2011 at the behest of non-NAMA creditors.

NAMA has also had Liam Dowdall of Smith & Williamson Freaney appointed as receiver to an unidentified property – looks like a development site – owned by  NORTHWOOD (RESIDENTIAL) LIMITED in Dublin. Northwood is already in receivership. Its directors are listed as William Kilmurray (64), Ben Underwood (63) and Anthony Donnelly (48). It is owned by John Shiel (12.5%), Globe Estates Limited (37.5%) and AWG Property Developments (Ireland) Limited (50%. Globe Estates Limited is owned by William Kilmurray. AWG Property Developments (Ireland) Limited. AWG is owned by Northern Ireland company AWG which is showing as a “closed company” though its former directors include Paul Devine, Stephen Kelly and Lesley Anne Wallace.

Remember you can see a comprehensive list of Irish foreclosure action by NAMA here and in this regularly updated spreadsheet.

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NAMA sues Bank of Scotland

NAMA’s degree of transparency nearly matches that of the Irish court system. Today we learn that NAMA is suing Bank of Scotland, no less, but there is practically no chance of finding out in outline or in detail, NAMA’s grievance. We simply know that on 24th October, 2012 NAMA made an application to the High Court in Dublin – reference number 2012/4068 S – and that the applicant is National Asset Loan Management Limited represented by Dublin solicitors, Gartland Furey and the respondent is Bank of Scotland, and as is usual with recently-filed cases, there is no solicitor on record for BoS.

You might think you could get details of the application from the Court itself, but no, the Central Office at the High Court that unless you are a solicitor acting in the case, the papers including the application are out of bounds. Even if you’re a barrister.

NAMA doesn’t comment on individual court cases and BoS are unlikely to. So all we can say at present is this is NAMA’s 35th application in Dublin’s High Court this year and that the Agency has been on the receiving end of a separate additional six applications.

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On Wednesday this week, the NAMA chairman told an Oireachtas oversight committee that NAMA was working with two thirds of developers. The other one third has seemingly been subjected to foreclosure action – receivers, administrators and liquidators appointed and in some cases, the companies and individuals have been chased through the courts. The reckoning on here is that NAMA has had receivers appointed to over 200 companies but in some cases, individual companies may be part of the same group. So NAMA is generating a strong demand for insolvency professionals and we all know this. And less than two years ago, NAMA appointed panels of insolvency professionals for foreclosure work in Ireland and the UK.

So it came as a little bit of a surprise that yesterday the Agency issued a new tender for insolvency professionals. NAMA is seeking tenders for the following panels

(1) Insolvency Practitioners (corporate) for Ireland

(2) Insolvency Practitioners (corporate) for the UK

(3) Insolvency Practitioners (fixed charge) for Ireland and

(4) Insolvency Practitioners (fixed charge) for UK

Asked how these tenders sit with the existing panels and if the existing panels were being stood down, a NAMA spokesman would merely say this morning that the new panels are the ones from which appointments will be made.

NAMA said on Wednesday at the Oireachtas that it was not black-listing companies touched by the Enda Farrell affair, which will come as a relief to Ernst and Young, former employer of Enda Farrell’s wife, Alice Kramer.

The deadline date for submission of tenders is 19th November 2012 and the full tender document is available here.

UPDATE: 2nd November 2012. NAMA has “clarified” that there is no longer a minimum turnover for eligible tenderers. The previous requirement was E2m in each of the last three years. That requirement has now been removed. The clarification is here.

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Good news for those property professionals who have been having sleepless nights at the dwindling vacant office space in Dublin city centre – still over 20% though somehow the property companies are trying to convince us that 15% is the new 5% normal vacancy level. Junior finance minister at Brendan Howlin’s Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Brian Hayes yesterday told the Society of Chartered Surveyors in Ireland that “being blunt, there is much greater value on the outskirts of Dublin and if we are serious about saving money not all functions need to be city centre based” So any imminent shortages in the Dublin city centre office market might be alleviated!

The junior minister was referring to plans to cut the Government’s expenditure on accommodation in its 2,200 buildings of which 900 are leased by the State at an annual cost of €112m in 2012 which the Minister wants cut to below €100m in 2015. Within certain echelons of official Ireland, eyebrows have been raised at the continued occupation of prestigious Dublin city centre buildings when rents can be 70% less just a 20-minute Luas jaunt away. It’s unclear when the NTMA’s lease on its HQ at Treasury Buildings expires or if the present receiverships of Treasury companies may affect the expiry date, but is there any reason it can’t be moved, perhaps closer to Dublin airport to facilitate meetings with all these international investors that NAMA keeps talking about – apparently there are locations available in Balbriggan and Swords!

We should not be surprised that the State’s property bill is coming down – the public sector employed 320,000 people in 2008 and it is intended that this should fall to 282,500 by the end of 2014. The Minister also referred to other streamlining measures in his speech. The Minister also referred to the construction sector and whilst we all accept that the sector in still on the floor, there were some rays of home given with accommodation needs for new enterprise.

The transcript of the Minister’s speech is here. Those attending were seemingly impressed by the Minister’s grasp of map-based inventories, standardised fitouts and other technical issues.

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