The number of mortgagee sales was down in January, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the numbers will continue to fall this year.
The easing of mortgagee sales is still some time away with the latest figures for January 2010 up 31% from January 2009.
Terralink International's data shows that there were 196 registered mortgagee sales in January 2010, up from 150 recorded in January 2009.
Terralink managing director Mike Donald said although there were fewer mortgagee sales in January compared to December the month before, it's probably not the start of a downward trend.
"We do often see a drop in mortgagee sales in January compared to other months. This may be because January is generally a quiet business month in New Zealand as most of us are on holiday.
"When you compare year-on-year figures and see that the number of forced sales was still 31% higher than a year ago it shows there's no sign of a let up just yet," he said.
Donald said there would need to be a few months of consistent year-on-year decreases in mortgagee sales figures to be able to declare that pressure on property owners is easing.
"I don't expect to see mortgagee sales returning to pre-recession numbers at all in 2010. I wouldn't expect to see a major decline on forced sales until at least the middle of 2011," Mr Donald said.
In January 2010 the only regions that experienced a rise in mortgagee sales were the East Coast of the North Island and Nelson.