Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘vacant property’ Category

Ask any competent developer what property he expects to bring on-stream in the next couple of years, and you will be probably get a reasonably clear and detailed response. Of course these days in Ireland, developers have very limited access to funding and there are still serious economic uncertainties plus there is an oversupply in many sectors.

However if you were to ask NAMA the same question, you would expect robust estimates. After all, NAMA is sitting on a mountain of cash and even after paying back 25% of its bonds by the end of next year, it should still have a mountain of cash until 2017 when it needs repay the majority of its bonds. Not only is finance NOT a problem at NAMA, but NAMA assures us that it has “reviewed” 97%-plus of developers’ business plans. Plus NAMA has specifically committed to investing €2bn in Irish property development in the next four years. So you would expect NAMA to know what property it was bringing on-stream in the next couple of years.

But you’d be wrong to expect such information.

In the Dail on Tuesday this week, the Sinn Fein finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty asked Minister for Finance Michael Noonan for NAMA’s construction plans in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Given that we are constructing so few homes (see graph above from the September economic bulletin from the Department of Finance), NAMA has the potential to be a major builder or at least a major financier, and given that it has “reviewed” nearly all developers’ business plans and remember it acquired the first loans 2.5 years ago, you would expect it to at least be able to estimate what building was going to take place under its auspices. We know that NAMA is funding the completion of homes on the former Dun Laoghaire golf course, the Charlestown shopping centre and the building of a major new office block in Dublin North Docklands. But is NAMA going to be behind the building of 50,500 or 5000 homes in the next three years and how many million sq feet of commercial premises is it planning. Clueless.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Finance the number of residential units in the State which the National Asset Management Agency plans, either itself or via its receivers or its debtors, to construct on or on which to complete construction in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Finance the square footage of commercial units in the State which the National Asset Management Agency plans, either itself or via its receivers or its debtors, to construct or on which to complete construction in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan: I propose to answer questions 296 and 297 together.

I am informed by NAMA that it has no current plans to become directly involved in commercial and residential construction projects but that it will continue to support debtors or receivers with loan finance for viable projects. In that context, it has announced plans to provide loan finance of up to €2 billion over the next four years in commercial and residential assets located in the State, subject to identifying commercially viable projects from among those controlled by its debtors and receivers. NAMA may, where appropriate, enter into joint venture arrangements on certain projects. To date, NAMA has approved advances in Ireland of over €610 million to complete projects in residential, commercial, retail, leisure, and healthcare sectors and almost €400 million of this has been drawn down.

At this stage, NAMA is engaged with its debtors and receivers in the process of identifying projects which may be commercially suitable for development with a view to meeting prospective market requirements over a medium-term horizon and, in the light of this evaluation, its Board will determine its project financing plans.  NAMA is also reviewing existing planning permissions and, where appropriate, will engage with planning authorities, through its debtors/receivers or directly, in cases where modifications may be required to render projects commercially feasible.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Northern Ireland’s real decline from peak is 59.5%

It’s not really the Carlsbergesque slogan that Northern Ireland would welcome, but a new official series of statistics released today by Sammy Wilson’s Department of Finance and Personnel shows that residential property prices in Northern Ireland are down 53% from the peak in 2007 and fell by 3% alone in the second quarter of 2012. These are the nominal headline figures, and on this side of the Border in the Republic, the equivalent figures are 50% and 2%.

However, when you factor in inflation for the UK (including Northern Ireland) of 16.1% from the peak in Jul-Sept 2007, and compare that with inflation of just 1.7% since the peak of Sept 2007 in the Republic, the real decline in Northern Ireland is indicated to be 59.5% compared with 51.1% in the Republic. Which is surprising enough, but compare this with the world’s worst property crashes – as measured by real declines in value from peak – and it seems that Northern Ireland is the record holder, the Usain Bolt, the gold-medal Olympian of property crashes!

The figures published today are worse than the quarterly survey figures produced by the University of Ulster in association with Bank of Ireland, even though we still haven’t seen the Q2, 2012 results from the University. The probable reason for the discrepancy is that Sammy Wilson’s figures today are based on ALL sales recorded by UK tax authorities including auctions where you are likely to find repossessed/foreclosed property which might be sold under distressed conditions. The University survey is based on estate agent sales which would tend not to be distressed. Also Sammy Wilson’s results examine all sales totalling about 3,000 per quarter, whereas the University only looks at about 1,000 per quarter.

Elsewhere the results published today show that there were 2,962 “verified” residential property transactions in quarter two, but this is in line with the circa 3,000 recorded in the last four quarters. In other words, prices are falling and transaction levels are staying the same.

On this side of the Border we seem to have two factions of commentators, the “Bottomists” saying that prices are at the bottom or at least stabilising in some areas and the “anti-Bottomists” saying that prices are still falling. But when you consider the fact that Northern Ireland has a residential property vacancy level of less than half ours (14.7% versus 6.4%), they have their own bank, the Bank of England which didn’t allow credit to balloon in the same way as the ECB did in the Republic, their net migration in 2011 was nil whilst ours was 34,100 of net emigration, and their unemployment rate is 7.6% versus our own 14.8% though their local economy doesn’t seem to be growing any more than our own, you might conclude that the anti-Bottomists will see their position boosted by today’s publication.

Also, there is issue here on public administration. Sammy Wilson’s Department of Finance and Personnel is hardly of the same scale as Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan’s Department of Finance. Yet, it has been able to produce a statistically-sound  house price index based on all transactions, cash and mortgage. We might, if we are lucky, get from our CSO next week an indication of the total market – cash and mortgage – or we may not, but the July 2012 index produced will be based on mortgage transactions only.  We might, if we are lucky, get from the Property Registration Authority of Ireland a house price database in September 2012, but I wouldn’t hold my breath given the delays to date. Time for Minister Noonan to raise his game.

[The detailed statistics published today are available here. There is a paper on the methodology used in compiling the statistics available here.]

UPDATE: 4th September, 2012. The Bank of Ireland/University of Ulster house price survey for Q2, 2012 has been released this morning. It shows that the price of an average home in Northern Ireland increased by 3.8% in Q2, 2012 from GBP 134,560 (€169,963) to GBP 139,633 (€176,370 ) which means that according to this survey, Northern Ireland residential property is 44.2% off peak of GBP 250,400 in Q3,2007. The survey was based on 931 estate agency reported transactions. Bank of Ireland thinks that residential property has another 5-10% to fall in Northern Ireland. Following the introduction of the new Northern Ireland property price series a fortnight ago by Sammy Wilson’s Department of Finance and Personnel, there will be less attention paid on here to this survey, because Sammy’s series has all sales recorded at HM Revenue and Customs and totals about 3,000 transactions per quarter. It is worth noting that Sammy’s series for Q2,2012 showed prices dropping 3% in the quarter and are now 53% off peak. However this morning’s survey reveals the following for regions of Northern Ireland and property type, prices in pounds sterling.

 

Read Full Post »

It will be Friday this week when our own Financial Regulator, Matthew Elderfield publishes the mortgage arrears data for the second quarter of 2012. Sadly on this occasion, the data will again be confined to owner occupier mortgages, but it is hoped that in November 2012, we will start to get data on Buy-to-Let mortgages as well. This is what the historical data looks like:

As usual, the Financial Regulator will provide home repossession data on Friday as well, but it is unlikely that there will be much change to the miniscule number of repossessions that take place in (the Republic of) Ireland. Since 2009, there have been about 500-600 repossessions per year, and there has been little absolute change in the last three years, to quarterly statistics despite the intensifying crisis of unemployment, reductions in take-home pay and collapsing property values.

Contrast this with our neighbours over the Border who on Friday last published repossession data from its courts system for Q2,2012. The figures show that between April and June 2012, there were 713 repossession orders granted by the Northern Ireland courts, of which 205 were suspended and 6 were “suspended possession combined”

Northern Ireland is a jurisdiction with a 7.6% unemployment rate compared with 14.8% on this side of the Border. Their residential property has declined by about 50% since the peak in 2007, about the same collapse as our own, though with higher inflation across the UK than in Ireland, the real collapse in Northern Ireland has been slightly worse than our own. And remember in Northern Ireland, they don’t have a problem with vacant housing that we do here (see bottom of table below).

So on a pro-rata house basis – and taking account of immediate possession orders only – the repossession rate in Northern Ireland is 8 times greater than in the Republic. Taking account of all repossession orders, actual and suspended, the repossession rate is 11 times that of the Republic.  These comparative  results are based on total number of dwellings in both jurisdictions – we don’t have mortgage statistics for Northern Ireland, in the Republic there are about 764,000 mortgages.

An unpleasant but inevitable consequence of adopting a UK model for personal insolvency would be an increase in repossessions, and in this country we have a troubled history with eviction and dispossession under occupation. But as a society and economy, we need to ask ourselves if it is better to leave people in property which they cannot afford but under austere conditions which blight their lives and their contribution to the economy or to release them to get on with their lives in a humane way but which may mean the repossession of their home. Supporters of a UK-style insolvency/bankruptcy model will need confront these unpleasant consequences.

Read Full Post »

The Germans call it “Das Sommerloch”, or “the hole in summer”; we call it “silly season” with holidays and inactivity stemming the usual flow of “proper news” and this year, the firing gun heralding its commencement has been fired by former banker, Mike Soden*, who gives us all a good laugh today, courtesy of the Irish Examiner who reports his comments.

Mike is reported to have said “The easiest solution, in my judgement, is that NAMA has got the responsibility of establishing a base price, or a floor price, for property in the country..because if you woke up tomorrow morning and the headlines in the Thursday property section of the newspapers read that property prices had increased by 10%, the wonderful factor of greed would re-enter the marketplace, and you would find that there is a turn in the marketplace”

Mike wants NAMA to set a floor in the Irish property market. Forget about the fact that NAMA only controls loans on 13,000 homes, with over 9,000 presently rented – all of this in the context of a country with 2m dwellings, nearly 300,000 vacant and an “overhang” representing a surplus over long term vacancy rates of 80-100,000. So NAMA’s potential impact on the Irish residential market, whilst not insignificant, is hardly dominant or market-moving.

NAMA does have a potentially dominant role in the Irish commercial market, with the Agency saying it paid €9.25bn for loans secured by Irish commercial property, property which will probably be worth €6bn today in light of the 25% decline in property prices since 2009 and the fact that NAMA originally paid a long term economy value of about 10%. In 2011, the Irish commercial property market saw less than €500m of transactions, and this year isn’t shaping up to be much better. So a €6bn portfolio is indeed market-moving.

The problem for NAMA is that it is already sailing very close to the unfair competition wind with its staple financing product, which as a result of NAMA’s ultra-cheap source of funding, government guaranteed bonds on which NAMA pays the 6-month Euribor rate of less than 1% per annum, means that NAMA has a potentially unfair advantage over its competitors in Ulster Bank, ACC and  BoSI/Certus, for example.

It might be a novel concept, but some people suggest that “the market” should find its own level, and absent artificial intervention from banks, government and NAMA, that level might be quickly established, which might boost confidence amongst potential purchasers – not to mention banks providing finance – previously deterred by the fear of further declines in prices.

Anyone with a pair of eyes can see the vast oversupply of commercial space in Dublin, with CBRE, Paribas, JLL and others wall-papering vast swathes of the capital with their “for rent” and “for sale” signs. “Supply” and “Demand” are the two pillars of “markets”, so until this oversupply is dealt with, you can hardly expect there to be a general floor, and certainly not one which NAMA can lawfully set.

Das Sommerloch is followed by Hundstage or “dog days” of sultry weather of late August and even less activity. On days like these, you might even yearn for to hear Deputy Damien “yeah but, no but” English hold forth on some subject or other!

*Mike is a former chief executive of Bank of Ireland, whose unlucky indiscretion in 2004 in accessing at work a prostitution website in Las Vegas ahead of a visit, led to his termination. He has been on the board of the Central Bank of Ireland since 2010, is the author of “Open Dissent” on the Irish banking crisis/collapse, and is widely regarded as a respected and knowledgeable banker.

Read Full Post »

Media failure of the Week

This week’s long-awaited legal clash between Treasury Holdings and NAMA promised to have it all: a judicial review with Michael Cush SC set to attack the very core of NAMA’s being, the colourful Johnny Ronan on the stand as well as NAMA’s owlish Brendan McDonagh being subjected to some fairly intrusive questioning. The judicial review hearing commenced on Tuesday and sure enough there was media reporting of Day One. On Day Two, RTE filed a report, so did the Irish Times courtesy of Mary Carolan (pictured top) and the Independent produced a remarkably similar report by Tim Healy (pictured bottom).

 

But after Wednesday, there seems to have been a media blackout. It’s potentially a critically important case for NAMA, because if the Agency is held to have acted unlawfully in its dealings with Treasury, there might be an avalanche of claims by other disgruntled developers whose loans have been foreclosed.

Runner-up this week must go to all the media organisations that turned up at the Battle of the National Library; that’s where TV3’s political editor Ursula Halligan is accused of “leading a charge” – sounds like something out of Crimean War! – on An Taoiseach, who is said to have nearly collapsed into a flower pot surrounded by the press pack, baying for comment on his stance on gay marriage. Sadly, there appears not to have been a single image from a stills photographer or cameraman or indeed a sound recording of the incident. Strange that.

Demolition (arithmetic) of the Week

€0

The amount of money spent by NAMA on protecting and maintaining a 12-apartment block on the Gleann Riada estate in Longford between December 2010 and July 2012.

€150,000

The amount of money put aside by NAMA to demolish the 12-apartment block on the Gleann Riada estate in Longford

€235,000

The amount fetched at auction Friday, of the 14 part-complete houses at Castlemaine (pictured below), a ghost estate at Annagh Banks in Kerry.

€122,500

The amount fetched at auction in May 2012 of an unfinished group of three houses in Cavan.

In fairness to NAMA, auctioneers have told me that some buildings they have seen will be beyond economic recovery but the fact remains in this case that NAMA didn’t even try, it seems, to sell the block. “It’s on a flood plain” seemed to be the NAMA deflector of choice, ignoring the fact that the rest of the estate is presumably also on a flood-plain, and if there are measures taken to protect the estate, they would presumably have been taken for the apartment block also.

Economic bright-spot of the Week

On Tuesday, the Department of Finance released the June 2012 Exchequer Statement, and, overall, it is revealing remarkably good news. Despite the State slipping back into recession in Q4, 2011 and both the domestic and international economies still facing considerable challenges,Ireland is on track to meet its deficit reduction plan in 2012. Not too shabby. Income tax and corporation tax account for most of the good news (see below), but it is encouraging that VAT is also on target despite the hike at the start of 2012. Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan says he is confident our deficit will in 2012, come in at less than the 8.6% agreed with the Troika. Not too shabby at all.

On Thursday, the National Treasury Management Agency managed to sell €500m of 3-month treasury bills at an interest rate of 1.8% per annum, the first such sale or issuance since September 2010. The issuance was oversubscribed with a cover of 2.8 times, and CEO of the NTMA, John Corrigan said most of the buyers of the bills were from overseas, market sources indicate overseas buyers might have represented 90%. The issuance was reported from New York to London to Frankfurt, and presented as a small sign of Ireland’s recovery. ECB president Mario Draghi did say (with emphasis added) “Ireland is a euro area country that, through extraordinary efforts, has run a programme which is on track – so much so that Ireland returned to the markets today, if I am not mistaken. This is much earlier than anybody could have expected until two or three months ago. Even though this might not yet be part of a regular extended programme for a long period of time, I think that this success should be properly celebrated, and it is a testament to the determination of the Irish government and the capacity of the Irish people to understand and “own” this programme and make the needed sacrifices. I think this is very important. Actually, it is so important that an event like this could be one of the factors that are making the financial environment nowadays a little less tense than it was a month ago. I think this ought to be taken into account.” and there might be some concern at the interest rate paid when Ireland has access to cheaper funding, but overall it was a positive. And it is noteworthy that at the end of the week, Ireland has the second lowest yield amongst the PIIGS on its bench-mark bond and at 6.3%, is just 0.3% above top-of-class Italy at 6.03%.And we are now back to rates last seen in late October 2010, just before the Troika bailout.

Economic low-point of the Week

For a couple of months on here, there has been confusion at the apparently upbeat claims by the Government about unemployment on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the evidence from statistics and anecdote, and this week the Central Statistics Office confirmed that unemployment in Ireland had reached a record in the present crisis of 14.9% equating to around 310,000; this, despite apparently high emigration. It seems that some spectacular job announcements like the 1,000 jobs at Paypal in Dundalk are being offset by a high volume of layoffs that are not making the national headlines, plus some of the job announcements actually refer to recruitment over a period of years. There are approximately 450,000 on the Live Register which captures all recipients of employment-related benefits. The unemployment rate in Northern Ireland is 7.1% and is 8.2% overall for the UK.

Banking Shockers of the Week

In theUK, they are navel-gazing at the manipulation of interest rates by Barclays, and potentially others. Here in Ireland, we had a couple of court cases to shed even poorer light on the state and practices of Ireland banks

“In that regard, it is possible that the expert on behalf of Anglo has not yet fully appreciated how abnormal a bank it was…” High Court in Dublin judgment published this week where Anglo’s lending practices were examined, with stinging criticism from the judge. The case involved Belfast developer Peter Curistan and the Parnell Centre in central Dublin and the Odyssey centre in Belfast. Anglo lent money on terms which included a 25% profit share and a CB Richard Ellis valuation of the Parnell Centre that was bizarre. A couple of email messages reproduced in the judgment are unkind to other Colossuses in the world of Irish property development.

“About this time Mr McDonald [Bank of Scotland (Ireland)] told Mr Walsh that he was coming under considerable pressure to lend more money due to increased lending targets imposed by the bank and the bank was keen to expand the loan book to key customers and Mr Walsh was identified as a key customer or a preferred customer.  Mr McDonald advised that the bank had received particulars of Direct Line House in Leeds and it was proposed that Mr Walsh should acquire this property” High Court in Belfast judgment published this week where BoS(I)’s lending practices came under the spotlight. There were allegations of bankers driven to increase lending and informally waiving standard banking terms. The case involves Northern Ireland developer Chris Walsh and is set for a full airing in 2013.

And lastly – and although this is a month old – this little line from the sixth Troika review of Ireland hasn’t received any publicity. The condition of the four state-guaranteed banks – AIB/ESB, Bank of Ireland, IBRC and Irish Life and Permanent – deteriorated last year with the % of non-performing loans across all four rising from 12.1% to 19.5%. The Troika sounds a warning note about the immediate prospects for the covered banks with the continued de-leveraging of quality assets. Sobering.

Read Full Post »

It will be another few weeks before NAMA finishes with its wrecking ball at a block of flats in the Gleann Riada estate in Longford but the Agency has said that it has no further plans at present to demolish more property. In a response to a question in the Dail on Thursday from Fianna Fail’s Timmy Dooley, the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said that although NAMA controls loans underpinned by 179 so-called ghost estates, the Agency has no plans at present to demolish any more. Last October 2011, a report by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government revealed that there were 2,066 ghost estates – housing estates built during the boom years which are still part-complete, empty or substantially empty.  29 such estates are controlled by NAMA and are in desperate need for completion works – foot-paths, sewerage, lighting. A further 150 estates are controlled by NAMA but are largely completed. NAMA now says that it hasn’t plans to demolish any, but its decision-making is dependent on economic viability and structural issues.

The full exchange is here

Deputy Timmy Dooley: To ask the Minister for Finance his views on whether the National Assets Management Agency will engage in demolition of part built housing schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan: NAMA have advised me that there are no plans to demolish further developments but it may be considered as a means to reaching resolution on properties where; a) the economic viability of the site is otherwise in question, or b) due to structural or other considerations, the development is not viable.
As the Deputy may know, there was recent media commentary on a development in Longford which is to be demolished. I am advised by NAMA that the salient facts in this case were: NAMA acquired loans secured on this property in December 2010; the property, comprising two-bedroom duplex units and three-bedroom apartments, was poorly constructed, had been subject to continuous vandalism and anti-social behavior, including the removal of all fixtures and fittings and had become a significant source of concern for neighbouring residents.   I am further advised by NAMA that the property is located on a flood plain and in the middle of an industrial estate.   As a result of its condition and location, NAMA advises that the investment required to bring the property to a habitable state and to the point that it could be sold, in the unlikely event that a willing buyer exists, would be such as to make the investment uneconomical and that it is questionable whether structurally such works could in fact be undertaken. In any event, NAMA advises that Longford County Council, in detailing the Category 4 remediation works to be taken as part of the agreed site resolution plan in respect of this development, set out a requirement that the apartment block be demolished.

NAMA advises that to undertake the necessary remediation on this development, including the proposed demolition of this block, it had first to take enforcement proceedings over the property, which was a protracted process.

Following publication of the Report of the Advisory Committee on Unfinished Housing Developments in June 2011, the Minister for State with responsibility for housing established a National Co-ordination Committee to oversee planning and implementation of remediation programmes in respect of unfinished estates.  NAMA is represented on this Committee and is proactively engaged in policy processes aimed at the resolution of the problem of unfinished housing estates.

I am advised by NAMA that of the 243 estates categorised by local authorities as the most problematic from a public safety perspective (Category 4 estates), only 29 (or 12%) of these estates are controlled by NAMA debtors or receivers.  150 (or 10%) of Category 3 estates are linked to NAMA debtors.  NAMA is funding out of its own resources, through its debtors and receivers, the cost of urgent remediation work (estimated at €3 million) and significant progress is being made in this regard.

I am also advised by NAMA that it plans to invest substantial funding over its lifetime in preserving and enhancing the assets that secure its loans, including significant investment in assets located in Ireland, and that a substantial portion of its cash reserves will be used for this purpose. The Chairman of NAMA recently announced plans to invest €2 billion in this area by 2016. To end-March 2012, the Agency had invested over €1 billion in the preservation, enhancement and completion of property assets underlying its loan portfolio. Over €500 million of this had been committed to assets in Ireland and this is helping to secure the direct employment of thousands of employees in small and medium trading businesses located throughout the country, in addition to substantial additional direct and indirect construction and property related employment in general building works including re-fit, refurbishment and up-grade of NAMA-controlled properties.

NAMA has indicated its intention to rollout other innovations to support the resumption of more normalised activity in our property markets.  It has committed, for instance, to sponsor the launch at least one Qualifying Investor Fund (QIF) by the end of 2012, a proven mechanism for leveraging institutional investment. NAMA advises that it has identified over 3,000 residential units as being available and potentially suitable for social housing and it is working with housing authorities to determine the suitability of these units for the provision of social housing within their functional areas.”

Read Full Post »

Just over a week ago, NAMA announced its first bulldozing: a 12-apartment single block on the Gleann Riada estate in Longford is to face the wrecking ball. Apparently there is a protected bird species obstructing the NAMA wrecking ball and it might be some time before the birds are re-housed before NAMA gets to work. Meanwhile 300-400 families in Longford are on the housing waiting list, some for more than five years. Despite the prominent announcement by NAMA of its first demolition, the Agency was tight-lipped about the details of its decision-making. We now have more details.

Yesterday, in the Dail the Sinn Fein finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty asked for details about the demolition. The full exchange is shown at the bottom of this blogpost. This section breaks up the component questions and answers.

Q: if he will provide details of the type of apartments involved
A: two-bedroom duplex units and three-bedroom apartments

Q: the present condition of the property, as well as the condition of the property; when NAMA acquired the underlying loans on the property
A: poorly constructed, had been subject to continuous vandalism and anti-social behaviour, including the removal of all fixtures and fittings

[Note, the Minister implies but does not make clear, the damage was done before NAMA took over the loans. Given NAMA’s previous explanations on a range of subjects, you might be right not to conclude when the damage was done, before or after NAMA took over the loans]

Q: the steps taken by NAMA to protect and maintain the property, including the amount of money spent on the property
A: No answer provided

[The implication from the response to how much has been spent on the property to date indicates that NAMA took no steps involving a financial layout to protect and maintain the property in the last two and half years, since the loans were taken over]

Q: the sales and marketing activity undertaken by NAMA to dispose of the property
A: NAMA advises that the investment required to bring the property to a habitable state and to the point that it could be sold, in the unlikely event that a willing buyer exists, would be such as to make the investment uneconomical and that it is questionable whether structurally such works could in fact be undertaken.

[In other words, no marketing of the property has apparently taken place]

Q: if NAMA considered a sales contract which would oblige the buyer to put the property in a sellable rentable condition;
A: No answer provided

Q: if he will explain the reason the property was not made available for auction
A: No answer provided

Q: the costs NAMA expects to spend on the property in future, including an accounting for the demolition costs
A: NAMA further advises that it has expended no monies to date on the apartment block other than monies incurred in the general remediation and upkeep of the overall development in which it is located; and that it has made a provision of €150,000 for all demolition and remediation works relating to the block

Q: if he will provide details of NAMA’s efforts to make use of the property for social housing in the context of the waiting list of 335 families in Longford
A: the onus is now on housing authorities to determine the suitability of these units for the provision of social housing within their functional areas

[So apparently no effort was made to see if this block might have been used to help house the 300-400 families on the Longford housing list. In fact more effort has been made to rehouse the birds presently lying between the block and the NAMA wrecking ball]

Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Finance following the announcement by the National Asset Management Agency of its intention to demolish a block containing 12 apartments in Longford; if he will provide details of the type of apartments involved and the present condition of the property, as well as the condition of the property when NAMA acquired the underlying loans on the property; the steps taken by NAMA to protect and maintain the property, including the amount of money spent on the property; the sales and marketing activity undertaken by NAMA to dispose of the property; if NAMA considered a sales contract which would oblige the buyer to put the property in a sellable rentable condition; if he will explain the reason the property was not made available for auction; the costs NAMA expects to spend on the property in future, including an accounting for the demolition costs; if he will provide details of NAMA’s efforts to make use of the property for social housing in the context of the waiting list of 335 families in Longford..

Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan: I am advised by NAMA that it acquired loans secured on this property in December 2010; that the property, comprising two-bedroom duplex units and three-bedroom apartments, was poorly constructed, had been subject to continuous vandalism and anti-social behaviour, including the removal of all fixtures and fittings; and had become a significant source of concern for neighbouring residents.

I am further advised by NAMA that the property is located on a flood plain and in the middle of an industrial estate. As a result of its condition and location, NAMA advises that the investment required to bring the property to a habitable state and to the point that it could be sold, in the unlikely event that a willing buyer exists, would be such as to make the investment uneconomical and that it is questionable whether structurally such works could in fact be undertaken. In any event, NAMA advises that Longford County Council, in detailing the Category 4 remediation works to be taken as part of the agreed site resolution plan in respect of this development, set out a requirement that the apartment block be demolished.

NAMA has advised me that to undertake the necessary remediation on this development, including the proposed demolition of this block, it had first to take enforcement proceedings over the property, which was a protracted process involving the reinstatement of anIsle of Manholding company. NAMA further advises that it has expended no monies to date on the apartment block other than monies incurred in the general remediation and upkeep of the overall development in which it is located; and that it has made a provision of €150,000 for all demolition and remediation works relating to the block.

NAMA advises that decisions relating to the provision of social housing are a matter for the relevant housing authorities; that it has identified over 3,000 residential units as being available and potentially suitable for social housing and that the onus is now on housing authorities to determine the suitability of these units for the provision of social housing within their functional areas.”

UPDATE: 9th July, 2012. Fianna Fail deputy Robert Troy whose constituency  is the setting for Gleann Riada claims that for €150,000 the block which comprises 12 x 2 and 3-bed apartments could be made habitable.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »