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Terralink International’s latest figures show there were 2,265 mortgagee sales during 2011. While this is 169 fewer than the 2,434 recorded in 2010, numbers began to rise during the second half of 2011 and have remained persistently high since.
Terralink Managing Director Mike Donald says the numbers show 2011 was not the year of economic recovery property owners had been hoping for.
“While it’s positive to note a slight overall decrease for the year, what we’re looking for is a sustained downward trend. Right now we’re experiencing the opposite.
“In December 2011 there were 223 mortgagee sales, or more than seven per day. That’s the second highest ever recorded for a December, and just 49 fewer than December 2009 when New Zealand was at the height of recession.”
Mr Donald says digging deeper into the figures reveals that some groups and regions are being hit harder than others.
“Looking behind the numbers, we see the proportion of individuals with a single property facing mortgagee sales increased in 2011, up from 19% in 2010 to 22% in 2011. This is equal to the same record high for individuals in 2009. Also, 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 says.
While some regions experienced a decrease in the number of mortgagee sales, other regions kept rising. Mortgagee sales in Waikato increased 35% during 2011, while Wellington recorded a 34% increase. Other regions to record a significant increase in mortgagee sales during 2011 were Marlborough, Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay and the West Coast.
Moving into 2012, Mr Donald says the outlook already looks grim, with preliminary figures for January and February 2012 indicating mortgagee sales significantly higher than for the same period last year.
Terralink derives its mortgagee sales data from legal registrations of actual foreclosures.