A newspaper has a telling headline this morning: “Mortgagee sales jump as economy starts to come off boil”.
But have they? The writer is clearly showing his inherent bias in the opening paragraphs.
The number of mortgagee sales has jumped nationwide in the past quarter as worsening economic conditions and lower dairy payouts hit parts of provincial New Zealand.
But as the nation’s “rock star” economy comes off the boil, experts are warning of more foreclosures outside Auckland’s surging property market as financially strapped homeowners in regional New Zealand start defaulting on their mortgages.
“People lose interest in their properties, they lose interest in their lives and the bank senses that, and that’s when you have distressed sales,” Harcourts agent and mortgagee specialist David Savery said.
Nearly 150 people lost their homes in distressed sales in the three months to June 30, compared with just 95 in the first quarter – a jump of more than 50 per cent – CoreLogic figures provided exclusively to the Herald show.
In the year to June nearly 700 Kiwi homeowners lost their properties – 84 of them in Auckland. Though the annual figures were down on previous years, foreclosure numbers appear to be plateauing again after a period of sustained falls.
Five of the nation’s 14 regions recorded a jump in forced sales in the past 12 months: Hawkes Bay (47), Otago (31), Southland (27), Tasman-Nelson-Marlborough (22) and West Coast (16).
Waikato had the most (117), followed by Manawatu-Wanganui (90), Auckland (84) and Wellington (76).