Family homes are making up an increasing number of the more than 2200 mortgagee sales in New Zealand, new figures show.
Nationally, there were 2265 mortgagee sales during 2011, according to Terralink International figures, less than the record-breaking 3024 sales in 2009 and 2434 in 2010.
In the Nelson region, there were 18 mortgagee sales last year, compared with 26 the previous year, a drop of 31 per cent.
Terralink managing director Mike Donald said the sales showed 2011 was not the year of economic recovery that property owners had been hoping for.
This year's figures were also looking grim, with preliminary figures for January and February nationally showing mortgagee sales much higher than for the same period last year. "What we're looking for is a sustained downwards trend," Mr Donald said. "Right now, we're experiencing the opposite."
He said the proportion of single-property families having homes put out for mortgagee sales was back to its 2009 high of 22 per cent of all mortgagee sales.
"It's more than likely these sales are for family homes, not rentals or investments.
"More mum and dad property owners are losing their homes. It's hard to claim things are getting better for ordinary Kiwis, while this trend continues," he said.
In the past week, Lower Hutt real estate agent Terry Dooley has four times had to deal with people about to lose their homes to mortgagee sales. Lenders had sent him to four properties to help assess whether they were worth selling. However, he said he was amazed how often people failed to negotiate with lenders before it was too late. Even the start of sales proceedings was not necessarily the end, with owners often able to sort out their finances.
- The Nelson Mail
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