Mum and Dads bearing brunt of mortgagee sales rise

Tuesday 29 November 2011

The number of mortgagee sales has increased over the last quarter - and this time it's mum and dad owners being hit rather than over-stretched property investors.

By Benn Bathgate

Figures from Terralink International show there were 652 forced sales in the last quarter, an increase from 584 in the previous quarter.

Terralink managing director Mike Donald said the number of mortgagee sales had been trending down in the first part of 2011, but since July the number of forced sales was climbing back towards record highs.

"Mum and dad property owners are losing their family homes," he said.

"In 2009 at the height of the recession it was predominantly the over-committed property investors and developers that were losing their investments to mortgagee sales.

"Since then, the number of property investors and developers being affected has decreased, but the number of ordinary Kiwis losing their only property - most likely their family home - has been steadily rising."

Donald said that in August this year, 27% of mortgagee sales were for individual property owners who owned just one property.

"This is the second highest percentage of ‘mum and dad' property owners facing mortgagee sales we have ever recorded. The ‘economic recovery' has not been a reality for these people."

In 2007 - before the global financial crisis - there were just 89 mortgagee sales over the October quarter, a figure that peaked in 2009 at 901.

Regionally, Wellington has been particularly hard hit with an 85% rise in forced sales compared to the same time last year while Waikato saw a 73% year-on-year increase.

Other regions to see large increases in mortgagee sales included the Bay of Plenty (up 53%) and Manawatu (48%).

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