A PROPERTY sold by NAMA for €7.5m in 2013 was bought by a property firm for more than twice that price little more than a year later.
The site, at 1-6 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay in Dublin’s Docklands was sold by NAMA to Australia-based student accommodation firm Urbanest for €7.5m in June 2013. Property investment company Hibernia Reit then paid €17.75m for the same site in August this year – a 136pc increase.
The deal will call into question NAMA’s strategy of rapidly selling off its property assets as the Irish market for commercial property recovers.
The agency has been criticised in the past for selling assets when it may have achieved higher prices if it had held on to them for longer.
Urbanest bought the site with the intention of building a huge student accommodation development on it.
Planning permission however was refused in February this year. An Bord Pleanala claimed the development would create an “intimidating and threatening urban streetscape”.
It is understood that Urbanest then sold the site to a consortium of private investors for close to €10m.
The investors only held the property for a few months though before selling it on to Irish Stock Exchange-listed Hibernia Reit for €17.75m in August this year.
The 0.68 acre site at the corner of Sir John Rogerson’s Quay and Creighton Street on the River Liffey formed part of a larger site assembled by a consortium led by financier Derek Quinlan and developer Bernard McNamara during the boom. The huge increase in sale price also throws light on how fast the market is growing again, particularly in the top areas of the capital.
The Sir John Rogerson’s Quay site forms part of a larger city block. Hibernia Reit controls the entire block.
Read more: Could NAMA properties have sold for more?
The site has planning permission for 102,000 sq ft of offices, about 5,000 sq ft of retail, two live & work units and one residential unit along with 34 parking spaces. The planning permission expires in 2018.
NAMA has been rapidly selling off its assets as it seeks to take advantage of a property market that has staged a remarkable recovery in recent months.
The state bad bank has sold off loans tied to property worth billions so far this year and there is more to come. In May it sold loans with a par value of €1.8bn tied to developer Michael O’Flynn to US investment firm Blackstone. The agency is understood to be preparing to sell about €800m worth of loans tied to Galway developer Gerry Barrett in the coming weeks.
Nama has taken full control of Dundrum Shopping Centre ahead of a planned sale which is likely to net at least €1bn.
Last month Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh said it would sell €250m worth of assets every three months. The agency is in the process of putting property worth as much as €600m on the market before the end of the year, including the building used by Facebook as its European headquarters in Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock.
A NAMA spokesman declined to comment.