Northern Ireland property prices will nosedive if the Irish Republic’s new toxic assets agency dumps developments on the market, experts warn.
Finance ministers from both sides of the border are to hold emergency talks over fears that the North could be swamped with repossessed homes and offices.
The spectre was raised at the top-level meeting of the North/South Ministerial Council in Dublin.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen said there were concerns about the number of Northern Ireland properties which would be taken over by the Republic’s National Assets Management Agency (NAMA).
The agency was set up to recoup nationalised bank losses for the Republic by selling developments that collapsed during the property crash.
“Obviously some of these assets are located in the Republic, in Northern Ireland and other jurisdictions as well,” he said. “It’s important that we fully agreed in our discussions that both (finance) ministers would meet to consider the implications over the period ahead.”
Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said some assets being held by NAMA affected Northern Ireland and the disposals needed to be handled in a way that did not swamp the property market.