DUBLIN, July 4 (Reuters) - Ireland’s state-run bad bank said its property holdings would allow it to deliver up to 50 percent of Dublin’s housing demand over the next five years and ease concerns that a lack of the supply could put prices on an unsustainable path.
House prices in Dublin surged 22 percent in the year to May, their fastest appreciation since the late 2006 peak of the country’s ill-fated property boom, prompting the Central Bank to warn that shortages had to be tackled.
The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), which is one of the world’s largest property groups, said it could deliver between 40 and 50 percent of the estimated 8,000 to 10,000 new houses and apartments needed annually in Dublin.
“NAMA, given its public remit, has no intention of hoarding development land,” NAMA chairman Frank Daly said in a speech.
“Instead, if there is an identified need for housing in the Dublin area - and there clearly is - we are not in the business of sitting on development land assets until their value appreciates as the supply shortage becomes more acute.”
Daly said NAMA had 3,000 “shovel ready” units, half of which are already under construction and could deliver a further 19,000 new units in the short term on sites in its portfolio that have the potential for development.
He added that NAMA could call on another 500 hectares of development land, which could accommodate new units in Dublin if the agency can overcome planning and infrastructure impediments while it also had space available just outside Dublin.
There were just 1,600 new houses built in Dublin last year as the construction sector struggles to emerge from a property crash devastated the economy and forced the government to pour billions of euros into the country’s banks.
Residential property prices across the country grew at 10.6 percent in the year to May and remain 45 percent below the levels of their peak, data showed last week. Dublin house prices are 44 percent off the peak reached during the property boom. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin)