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'Bad bank' has offered councils thousands of social homes

The state's bad bank has said it has delivered 2,378 social homes up to the end of last year.

Announcing profits of 1.5 billion euro for 2016, t he National Assets Management Agency (Nama) said it offered councils nearly 7,000 houses or apartments over four years.

Dublin has seen the largest number of social houses from the agency, 901, another 445 in Cork, 228 in Galway and 172 in Kildare.

Nama also said there were only 11 ghost estates left in the country at the end of March this year, down from 332 in 2010.

As the agency said i t is on course to make three billion euro by the time it finishes its work, it also revealed it funded the construction of 4,840 new homes over the last three and half years.

Another 2,064 are being built and there is planning permission for another 1,114 new homes.

Chief executive Brendan McDonagh said the forecast for overall profit at the agency had gone up from 2.3 billion to three billion euro on the assumption the property market will continue to grow.

"It is important to emphasise that achievement of this surplus will depend on our ability to extract maximum value from the residual portfolio which is secured by many low-value assets which require extensive workout," he said.

Nama said it has a target to build 20,000 new homes by 2020 if they are commercially viable.

The agency borrowed 31.8 billion euro to take loans linked to property developments and land speculation off the books of the main Irish banks.

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