Investors affected worse than residents

Investors and speculators, rather than resident homeowners, appear to have been hit by an upsurge in mortgagee sales.

Website has reported an increase of 25% in mortgagee sales over the past month with a "record" 489 listed on the internet.

The sites managing editor, Bernard Hickey, told the Otago Daily Times that the figure was arrived at by simply counting advertisements.

"About half of the mortgagee sales are linked to failed property developers, overstretched property investors and particularly coastal property and sections."

Mr Hickey said the problem appeared to be with empty apartments and empty sections that were not making an income.

"If you bought a section, it's useless unless you can somehow make money from a goat."

Auckland had the greatest number of mortgagee sales and while Mr Hickey did not have a regional breakdown, he considered Queenstown would also figure.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand Queenstown spokesman Adrian Snow said the institute did not track mortgagee sales.

"But the general picture is that yes, there is obviously an increased number of mortgagee sales at the moment, which you would actually expect given the current economic and property market environment.

"It's not what anyone would consider to be a flood . . ."

He considered remarkably few residential properties were affected, and most impact was being felt among those who had bought managed apartments.

He named Alpine Village and Pounamu Apartments on Frankton Road as two examples.

He said the reason for the sales was that they were probably "oversold" initially and the actual incomes were "nowhere near" the expected or promised incomes.

Mr Snow said what was happening in the managed-apartment segment of the market was not a reflection of what was happening in the residential market.

"It's not as if the property market has collapsed and there are people in trouble left, right and centre."

Only two mortgagee sales have been listed in Dunedin recently, although Otago branch president of the Real Estate Institute, Stephen Johnston, said one of those had been taken off the market.

"So there's certainly not that same sort of issue down here."

Wanaka had also had two mortgagee sales this year of sections in residential developments.


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