Michael Noonan optimistic over Brexit business

As he hears NAMA land is being hoarded...

Exchequer, tax take, November, economy, borrowing, Michael Noonan

Michael Noonan | Image: RollingNews.ie

As Finance Minister Michael Noonan pledged that delayed legislation for a vacant site levy would force developers to either build houses or sell their sites yesterday, he also signalled that a number of financial firms are looking at Dublin as their post-Brexit headquarters.

Noonan said he was basing this expectation on the number of people who had been in and out of the Department of Finance over the past nine months and revealed that many recent visitors had now got their choice options down to two cities – Dublin and one other competitor.

He also said he was aware from the Central Bank that the number of expressions of interest it was dealing with had increased significantly from the 120 or so they had displayed an interest most recently.

There has also been very strong feedback from IDA Ireland and NAMA, which is delivering a lot of new commercial property in Dublin’s docklands.

Noonan's NAMA comments came after chief executive Brendan McDonagh accused developers of deliberately "hoarding" land.

He said that only a small fraction of the residential sites NAMA has sold to developers since 2010 have been built on.
The sites could support 50,000 housing units, but only 3,200 units (6% of the total) had been built on or were in the process of being built.

McDonagh said:

“A lot of people ask what is the reason for that. There is clearly some infrastructural issues.

"By hoarding land, you actually pick up the increase in value without actually doing very much to it. So effectively, that’s a huge issue in my book."