Forced sales tipped to remain high

The number of people losing their homes to a mortgagee sale may have dipped according to the most recent data but numbers are still expected to remain high into the New Year.

Figures from land information company Terralink International show there were 298 registered mortgagee sales during October down 45 from September but still well above the 174 recorded in October 2008.

While the October figures showed a decline Terralink managing director Mike Donald expected numbers to remain high for a while yet.

``It's a mistake to think that a decrease this month means that mortgagee sales are set to return to pre-recession levels. There's a slight easing in October but when you look at the whole picture you'll see the numbers remain at an all time high. It's still a volatile situation and the numbers of mortgagee sales we have been seeing shows the length of time it takes to work through the financial stress of the recession.''

The percentage of mortgagee sales from individual homeowners with only one property had been climbing, Mr Donald said.

``These are the people who we'd probably think of as the `Mum and Dad' homeowners. They now make up nearly one in four of the total mortgagee sales in New Zealand, or 24%. 

``As the year has gone on, and spending has decreased, and redundancies have increased more and more ordinary New Zealanders have been affected by the recession. Forced sales of their homes has unfortunately been a consequence for some,'' Mr Donald said.

Regions hardest hit in October were Auckland and Waikato while Otago, Southland and Taranaki all experienced increases.

Mortgagee sales accounted for almost 5 percent of the total nationwide property sales in October.