THE NATIONAL ASSET Management Agency has insisted that the €13.3 million it has spent on property valuation services in little over two years represents good value for money – helping the taxpayer save billions of euro.
In a statement this afternoon the agency told TheJournal.ie that the work, which required the use of specialist external legal and property valuation advisors, resulted in a major saving for the State.
This was because NAMA had used the new valuations – which gave a lower indication of the true value of a property – to then pay the banks a lesser amount for the loans.
The comments came after figures published by Michael Noonan showed that the bank had spent an average of over €500,000 per month on valuations every month between January 2010 and January 2012.
NAMA recoups this spending by reducing the amount it pays banks to take over the loans in the first place, meaning that it is the banks and not the agency itself which foots the bill.
A NAMA spokesman said that in 2010, the valuations received – which cost NAMA just over €4 million – had revealed market values of properties at some €1.7 billion less than had been expected, with a resulting saving of that amount in money paid to the banks for their loans.
Noonan’s data, provided in response to a parliamentary question from Sinn Féín’s Gerry Adams, showed that two firms had been paid more than €1 million in that period.
Jones Lang Lasalle had been paid €1,239,000 for their services between 2010 and 2011, while Donal Ó Buachalla & Co was paid €1,201,000 in the same two years. Another firm, Colliers International, was paid €978,000 in that time.
Noonan said most of the valuation fees related to one-off valuations which formed part of the due diligence in taking over loans from commercial lenders. €900,000 of the spending was on follow-up valuations needed by NAMA as part of its ongoing management.