NAMA to invest stgĀ£9m in 95-unit housing development in Belfast

  • Generating an estimated 100 jobs during construction phase
  • Subsequent phases may include an additional 415 properties
  • NAMA also examining regulatory feasibility of extending deferred mortgage product to Northern Ireland

The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) has today announced plans to provide funding of stg£9 million to build a new 95-unit housing development in Millmount, Dundonald, close to Belfast.

The Agency will provide funding to develop the site through an agreement between the court-appointed administrator and a Northern Ireland-headquartered construction company.

An estimated 100 jobs will be generated during the construction phase of the project, which is expected to last approximately 18 months.  When completed, the first phase will consist of 95 mainly three-bedroom and four-bedroom houses. 

The site has outline planning for 510 residential properties, which may be delivered in subsequent phases subject to market conditions and the success of the initial phase.

 Speaking at today’s announcement, NAMA Chairman Frank Daly said:

“This is a real statement of intent about our Northern Ireland loan portfolio.  We are committed to supporting projects that can deliver a commercial return and I hope that there will be more projects like this in Northern Ireland. 

We are funding this development because it will deliver quality homes for people looking to live and work in Belfast.  It will turn an unused site into a development that will benefit the Agency as well as homebuyers, the city of Belfast and the people who work on building it”.

The site will be developed by Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon, the court-appointed administrator to the site, and a subsidiary of the Northern Ireland-headquartered Lagan Group.

 Speaking about the decision to fund the development, Mr Daly said:

“In deciding how to get the best possible return from this site, we were faced with a choice.  That was between selling an undeveloped site to the highest bidder, and funding the development to create a more valuable asset. 

We are confident that the choice we have made will deliver a better commercial return.  This is consistent with our policy – in Northern Ireland and elsewhere – of managing our assets from a long-term perspective and taking account of local market conditions.

We would welcome proposals from our debtors and receivers/administrators in relation to other viable projects in Northern Ireland and continue to encourage parties interested in availing of vendor financing in Northern Ireland to approach us“.

80/20 Deferred Payment Initiative

The NAMA Chairman has also announced today that the Agency is in discussion with a Northern Ireland mortgage provider and is examining the regulatory feasibility of extending its 80/20 Deferred Payment Initiative to houses controlled by its debtors and receivers/administrators in Northern Ireland. 

 The 80/20 Initiative was launched on an initial pilot basis in the Republic of Ireland last May and subsequently extended. The initiative aims to provide house buyers with a level of protection against reductions in housing values during the first five years after purchase.  Subject to lender agreement and regulatory approval, it is anticipated that Millmount will be suitable for the initiative.

Notes:

1.   The court-appointed administrator to this site, Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon, selected its development partner after a competitive tender process that began late last year.

The administrator received expressions of interest from more than 20 interested parties. 

Independent professional advisors were engaged by the administrator in the evaluation of the tenders received and following assessment across a range of areas, including financial projections, approach to planning, financial strength of the tenderer and track record in similar developments, a Lagan Homes company was selected as the preferred bidder.

2.   In May 2012, NAMA announced the availability of vendor financing for purchasers of commercial property related to NAMA’s loans and has said that it would welcome proposals from interested parties in Northern Ireland.  Details on NAMA’s vendor finance packages in Northern Ireland can be accessed in the publication section.

3.   NAMA has also announced plans to advance funding for projects that are shown to be capable of demonstrating a return on investment, including projects located in Northern Ireland

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