Business owners caught up in mortgagee sales, property expert says

A rise of mortgagee sales is only the beginning of a “painful period”, as one property expert warns that “it’s going to get much, much worse”.

While not at the levels seen during the Global Financial Crisis, mortgagee sales have been climbing.

Sixty-five residential properties are currently listed as mortgagee sales on Trade Me property, a 35 percent increase on the same time last year.

One real estate regional manager in Wellington told RNZ his team normally appraised up to three properties a year for potential mortgagee sales – that was now up to three a month.

Property expert David Whitburn told Checkpoint business owners were among those feeling the pressure the most.

“We’ve seen over 50 companies across Aotearoa every week, going to the wall, facing either receivership or liquidation and often they’re securing their own home that they’ve put up as collateral for their business debt.

“Homeowners and property investors are not immune to this too.”

He believed the issue was the sudden jump from extremely low 2-4 percent interest rates a couple of years ago.

Hindsight was a wonderful thing, Whitburn said, suggesting that the financial settings perhaps were not set quite right during Covid-19.

“People are struggling to keep their heads above water.

“I think we’re at the beginning of a painful period, it’s already started, but unfortunately it’s going to get much, much worse over the next six months or so.”

Whitburn said banks only used mortgagee sales as a last resort.

“The banks realise it’s not particularly palatable … they understand that these are often families that are involved.”

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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