New Zealand's regions are bearing the brunt of mortgagee sales, which have hit another historic high.
The number of forced house sales has been rising for most of 2009, but had dropped in August this year to 241.
Property information company Terralink reports that the number of mortgagee sales leapt to 343 in September.
Terralink's figures represent a 130% rise on the same period a year earlier and trump the previous record of 321 forced sales which was recorded in July this year.
Managing director Mike Donald says regional centres including Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu and Otago have recorded increases in mortgagee sales.
He says while Auckland makes up the majority of the sales, Christchurch was also hit hard.
"We had expected the peak to have perhaps been reached, but that's not the case. We're seeing a noticeable increase in the regional areas, predominantly a number of developer or sub-divisions that have been put into mortgagee sales, which is affecting the numbers in the regions," Mr Donald says.
He says he expects the number of mortgagee sales to continue to rise well into next year.