An improving economy has led to fewer homeowners in New Zealand being forced to sell their homes due to repossession by lenders. Data analysis company CoreLogic reports that nationwide, there were 797 mortgagee sales in 2014, down from 1,216 the previous year and little more than a quarter of the number at the height of the economic crisis in 2009.
Back then, foreclosures accounted for one in 25 of all homes sold in New Zealand. The proportion is now is now only one in 100 houses sold, economist Shamubeel Eaqub said. “The general story on mortgagee sales is very positive,” said Eaqub, representing the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research. “There are more jobs and wages have increased, albeit gradually. Mortgage stress has reduced considerably.”
The New Zealand economy grew 2.9% in the year to the end of September last year, according to Statistics New Zealand’s latest figures. Unemployment has fallen from 6.9% in 2012 to 5.7% now.
The CoreLogic figure showed, however, that not all regions experienced the same economic upswing and Eaqub said forced sales outside Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington remained high.