Kiwi Mums and Dads are losing their homes in record numbers to mortgagee sales as the effects of the recession continue to bite residential homeowners.
Terralink International's latest data shows there were 202 registered mortgagee sales in March 2010 and two thirds of the affected properties were owned by individuals rather than companies.
Terralink Managing Director Mike Donald says the sharp rise in forced sales among individual owners indicates it is now ordinary property owners who are losing their homes.
"At the height of the recession a year ago it was companies or individual property investors with multiple properties who couldn't meet their mortgage payments and were facing mortgagee sales. But a year on, despite New Zealand's economy showing signs of recovery, the effects of the recession still linger for Mum and Dad homeowners who are unable to make payments on their family homes," he says.
And Mr Donald warns there may be more to come.
"Individual property owners now make up 66% of all forced sales, that's an increase of 32% on a year ago. I expect we will see more and more individual property owners and ordinary Kiwis losing their homes this year because there are many New Zealand families still hurting out there," he says.
Mr Donald says a year ago second tier lenders such as the smaller finance companies were driving two thirds of mortgagee sales, but in March 2010 that had dropped to 59%. The major lending banks, which the majority of residental property owners have their mortgages with, are now driving an increasing number of forced sales.
Provincial New Zealand featured heavily in March's mortgagee sales, with 29 mortgagee sales in Waikato, up from 12 a year ago. The Bay of Plenty climbed from 10 to 17, and the numbers in Manawatu doubled from six to 12.
Mr Donald says March's figures increased significantly from February's total of 121, but this was to be expected as there is traditionally a dip in February.
"In March there was an average of six mortgagee sales a day," he says.