Kirsty Wynn

Kirsty Wynn is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Mansion access barred

Owner of stunning headland residence in stand-off over mortgagee sale

The Matheson Bay property, described as a "waterfront heirloom".
The Matheson Bay property, described as a "waterfront heirloom".

A forced sale has been ordered for a gorgeous $3million coastal property - just don't expect to walk through it before you buy.

A real estate agent who borrowed $2million in an attempt to hold on to her home has blocked access to the property near Leigh while it goes to mortgagee sale.

Sotheby's International Realty agent Shane Romani took out a short-term loan to stave off a mortgagee sale in 2011. Private lender Matthew Ryan said Romani agreed to pay the loan by July last year but had since defaulted.

Ryan said it was the second time he had taken the historic Matheson Bay house, owned by Romani and her husband Guido Romani, to mortgagee sale.

During the first sale Ryan had several offers through Kellands Real Estate but accepted one arranged by Romani, which would have given her some equity out of the home.

"I did what I thought was the right thing and accepted one that gave her some equity back," Ryan said.

Ryan was promised full payment on January 25 and again on February 6 but had so far received only the $400,000 deposit. He has given up waiting for Romani to complete the deal and make full settlement so he has carried out all the legal requirements to proceed with a mortgagee sale.

"Because I have not received the money I have just had to sell one of my own homes in Wellington.

"There is a huge domino effect here."

Ryan has taken out full-page advertisements in glossy real estate magazines to advertise the house at 65 Grand View Rd.

In the advertisements he is described as a "frustrated mortgagee" who "demands the sale of this iconic Matheson Bay waterfront heirloom".

Romani insisted the sale she had arranged had not fallen through and would settle in June.

"The property is under an unconditional cash contract ... it has not fallen over," Romani said.

Romani said she had blocked access because the property had sold.

The North Auckland property, with a CV of $3.45million, is on 2935sq m on its own private headland with views over the Pacific Ocean to Little Barrier Island.

Kellands Real Estate agent Anna Chandler described the "mini-Hamptons" styled property, which was built in 1859 and has private beach access, as "absolutely stunning".

Offers on the property will close on Wednesday.


Boom keeps bailiffs at bay

A booming housing market has sent the number of mortgagee listings tumbling.

Real Estate Institute chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said the buoyant market meant homeowners in financial trouble could get a good price for their property without having to resort to a mortgagee sale.

"Lenders prefer to avoid mortgagee sales if they can because they can be complicated," O'Sullivan said.

"If the only option is to sell, it is better for the borrower and the lender to go through a normal sale, which seems to be happening."

O'Sullivan said a housing shortage in Auckland and Christchurch meant sales were quick and high priced.

Figures from Terralink International show there were 524 mortgagee sales in the first three months of last year - the highest first-quarter number on record and almost six a day. From July to September last year there were 516 mortgagee sales, 15 per cent fewer than the previous quarter. Those figures had steadily declined as the housing market improved.

New Zealand hit its peak of mortgagee listings in 2009 with more than 2500 listed on the Auckland market and almost 18,000 listed nationally.

Six months ago there were 225 mortgagee sale listings on auction website Trade Me, 32 of those in Auckland.

Yesterday, the figure had dipped to 196, 24 in Auckland. The eight in Auckland city included a condemned building, one-bedroom apartments and one with water-tight issues.

- Herald on Sunday

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