Key Facts

  • Increased interest rates have paralleled a rise in mortgagee sales.
  • Janna Gilligan of Auckland lost her property in a mortgagee sale due to financial hardship.
  • Her situation began when she was switched to a floating interest rate of 8.64%, following a delay in mortgage payments.
  • A debilitating leg injury compounded her financial woes, making her dependent on Work and Income.
  • Westpac said the property sale was necessary due to her defaulting on payments for over two and a half years.
  • Total mortgagee sales across the country are increasing, with 27 reported in the second quarter of 2023, a surge from the previous quarters.
  • Platform Trade Me observed a 180% increase in properties listed as mortgagee sales in comparison to the previous year.
  • Half of New Zealand’s mortgages will be up for re-fixing in the coming 12 months.

Article Summary

The rise in interest rates has coincided with an increase in mortgagee sales, leading to a considerable loss for homeowners in New Zealand. Auckland citizen, Janna Gilligan, drew attention to her predicament after she lost her property due to financial struggles stemmed from a shift to a higher floating interest rate and an unexpected, incapacitating leg injury.

Her difficulties started when she took over the mortgage after separating from her partner and quickly fell into arrears. Westpac, subsequently, shifted her onto a floating interest rate, which amplified her financial strain. This situation worsened when a severe leg injury rendered her unable to work, leaving her dependent on Work and Income. Gilligan voiced her dissatisfaction with the bank’s communication but acknowledged their right to conduct the property sale.

The overall condition of mortgagee sales has been experiencing an upward trend across the nation. In the second quarter of the year, 27 mortgagee sales were reported, displaying an increase from the preceding quarters. Additionally, platform Trade Me recorded a 180% rise in properties listed for a mortgagee sale, in comparison to the previous year. It’s important to note that in the upcoming 12 months, half of the mortgages across the country are up for re-fixing.

Despite her personal loss, Gilligan aims to raise awareness about the rapidity at which financial circumstances can deteriorate and result in significant setbacks, hoping that her experience could help others dodge similar predicaments.

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