Ireland’s richest developers are being forced to leave their mansions for more humble digs.
Under legislation drawn up for National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), Ireland’s solution to their real estate market meltdown and ensuing banking crisis, the homes will be taken over by the State, and the owners will be made to evacuate.
According to Ireland’s Sunday Independent, the developers are expected to hand over the house keys to officials as early as December. The homes were offered up as security on development loans while the Celtic Tiger and Ireland’s property boom was still in effect.
On Monday, five Irish banks will submit details of the top 50 developers in Ireland and their loans to officials at NAMA. The borrowers’ development loans are expected to total €50 billion ($70 billion) of the €80 billion ($112 billion) in loans set to be transferred to the agency.
“It would be simply unacceptable to leave these people living in luxury while the consequences of the business decisions they have made effectively lead to a doubling of the national debt,” a source told the Independent.
“NAMA will move to secure these homes and those developers will find themselves living in far more modest properties.
“You can take it as read that any property developer living in a substantial family home will not be allowed to continue to live there if that property has been offered as security on loan under NAMA’S control.
“NAMA will be in the banks' shoes and will inherit anything that has been pledged by way of a personal guarantee on any of those loans. NAMA will have every entitlement, and every right, to call on the guarantees that have been given.”
Sources close to the new Irish agency say the move will be “essential” in reassuring the Irish that NAMA is acting in the taxpayer’s interest.
Fine Gael has come out against the creation of NAMA, pointing to negative effects of the agency buying up toxic debts from Irish banks. The party feared that a large number of legal disputes will emerge between the agency and developers over the value of the properties purchased with the loans, which would raise the government cost of maintaining the “bad bank.”
Legislation to establish NAMA has moved forward, however, and reportedly are at an advanced stage.