‘Limited’ Opportunity for Nama to Build more Affordable Homes: Finance Minister McGrath

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The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) is anticipated to return a minimum of €4.9 billion to the Exchequer by the conclusion of its winding down next year.

Finance Minister Michael McGrath has remarked that there is only a “limited” opportunity for Nama to provide additional affordable homes. So far, Nama has transferred a total of €4.25 billion to the Exchequer, consisting of €3.85 billion from its lifetime surplus and over €400 million in corporation tax payments.

McGrath stated that Nama, established by the Irish government in 2009 following the financial crisis, has been highly effective in managing its loan portfolio and maximizing the value of its assets, consistently generating profits over a 13-year period.

McGrath emphasized the significant commercial success of Nama, stating, “This strong commercial performance has surpassed expectations, and Nama’s achievements extend beyond its primary objectives.” He highlighted Nama’s role in facilitating substantial housing delivery, with 34,000 new homes funded or enabled by the agency by the end of 2023.

Furthermore, McGrath noted Nama’s significant contribution to the regeneration of Dublin Docklands through the development of extensive new commercial and residential space. When questioned about Nama’s potential to deliver more affordable housing during its remaining tenure, the minister acknowledged limitations due to the agency’s statutory mandate to maximize returns while also fulfilling other state objectives.

While Nama will continue to explore opportunities to build additional homes within its remaining portfolio, McGrath acknowledged constraints, stating, “Given that their overall portfolio is only about 1% of what it was at the peak – about €450 million – I think the further capacity to build more homes will be limited.”

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