Press Release - National Asset Management Agency - Progress on achievement of objectives as at end 2018

22 July 2020

A report of the Comptroller and Auditor General has been presented to the Houses of the Oireachtas today. The report is the third in a series that periodically assesses the progress that the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) has made towards achieving its overall objectives.

Redeeming debt and cost recovery

NAMA’s primary purpose is to hold and manage property-related loans and related collateral acquired from banks, and ultimately to dispose of those assets in a manner that protects the State’s interest.

A key objective set by NAMA was, by 2020, to redeem the debt of €31.8 billion issued for the loans it acquired from the participating credit institutions. NAMA has achieved this target, and from 2014 on, was significantly ahead of the repayment profile implied by the interim repayment targets it set.  

Another objective set by the Board was the recovery of all NAMA’s operating costs without recourse to further borrowing. This objective was also met, and the NAMA Board expects to return a surplus of €4 billion upon completion of the Agency’s work.

Rate of return

NAMA has a statutory objective to obtain the best achievable financial return for the State. The internal rate of return(IRR)is a standard measure of financial return for property-related (and other) investments. NAMA has not set targets for the IRR on its overall investments.

When NAMA was acquiring the loans, it projected cash flows over the lives of the loans that were then discounted at an average rate of around 5% to yield the acquisition value of the loans. If the cash flows related to the loans had occurred as projected, NAMA would have generated an IRR of 5%.

At the end of 2012, primarily as a result of the decline in Irish property values that occurred after NAMA acquired the loans, the projected IRR on the NAMA investment was around 3.8%. Subsequent recovery in property prices and NAMA’s investment performance resulted in the projected IRR increasing to 6.2% by the end of 2016, and to around 6.8% by the end of 2018.  

Commercial development

In 2014, NAMA adopted a secondary objective of the facilitation of the development of office accommodation in Dublin.  

NAMA had an interest in a substantial proportion of the undeveloped land in the Dublin Docklands strategic development zone (SDZ). The Agency prepared a business plan setting out proposals for the development of the land in question, but this did not include formal targets. While it was envisaged that construction on the NAMA sites could potentially commence in 2016, no time scale was set for the completion of each development. By May 2020, construction was underway or had been completed on sites accounting for 86% of that land.

Residential development

The NAMA Board also adopted as a secondary objective the facilitation of the delivery of housing, subject to commercial viability. It has sought to deliver residential units for both social housing and for the commercial housing market.

Social housing

NAMA set a target of delivering 2,000 social housing units by the end of 2015, and this target was met. By the end of 2018, NAMA had provided a total of 2,445 units to local authorities or approved housing bodies. In addition, 36 units were at contract stage. The social housing delivered includes 1,352 residential units acquired from NAMA debtors/receivers and held by a NAMA subsidiary, which have been leased to approved housing bodies on long-term leases.

Commercial housing

In November 2015, NAMA set itself a challenging target to deliver 20,000 commercial residential units on sites in which it has an interest over the five-year period 2016 to 2020. NAMA is not expected to achieve this. As of the end of 2018, it was projecting that around 13,000 units would be delivered on such sites by the end of 2021. This would represent delivery of 65% of the target number of units, albeit a year later than originally projected.

NAMA considers that, in monitoring the achievement of its commercial residential delivery target of 20,000 units, it is appropriate to also take account of 8,025 units it projects will be constructed by the end of 2021 on sites sold by NAMA debtors/receivers. However, this is not a ‘like for like’ comparison, because such units were not included when the original target was set.

Notes for Editors

The Comptroller and Auditor General is an independent constitutional officer with responsibility for the audit of public funds. He reports to Dáil Éireann.

The full text of the report is available here.

Enquiries about the report should be directed to Patricia Devlin at (01) 863 8665 or at pressrelease@audit.gov.ie.