Sixty-three forced sales occurred in the Western Bay between April and June, up from 55 for the same period last year, says land and property information specialist Terralink.
A local real estate agent said mortgagee sales were a way for banks to reclaim debts.
Neville Falconer, owner of LJ Hooker Tauranga franchise, said his company were running mortgagee sales at the request of banks.
"The figures show a 15 per cent increase, so that's quite something," Mr Falconer said, though he is not convinced buyers would getting a good deal from a forced sale.
"There's no guarantee on the condition of the property, there's no guarantee on any prior work being done is done to standard or in consent with the local authority, there's no guarantee of the water-tightness of the place, so it's a real buyer-beware situation."
Mr Falconer said mortgagee sales could be "very stressful" for the proprietor of the property.
"The best advice we can give is to people who could find themselves under financial pressure to not deny it but to address it and be realistic and do something about it before the bank steps in."
Quarterly figures from Terralink show that nationally, forced property sales are taking place at rates similar to those last seen during the peak of the recession in 2009.
In the first half of this year, 1129 mortgagee sales occurred, up from 1007 during the same period last year. This compared to 1262 foreclosures during the first six months of 2009.
Terralink managing director Mike Donald said with no signs the economy would pick up any time soon, the number of foreclosures was only expected to rise.
"For most of 2011, it looked like the era of record high numbers of forced sales was finally on its way out," he said.
"Unfortunately, since October 2011 we've experienced the opposite."
The Terralink figures are derived from foreclosure registration data supplied by financial institutions. Apart from the greater Bay of Plenty and Northland areas, where mortgagee sales jumped 35 per cent between the first and second quarters of this year, most provincial areas had remained relatively stable, Mr Donald said.
The figures show "mum and dad" property owners make up at least one in five mortgagee sales.
"With properties that are likely to be family homes making up almost a quarter of sales, there's no sign of economic recovery for ordinary New Zealanders," Mr Donald said.
Mortgagee sales for the first half of the year:
- 2012: 1129
- 2011: 1007
- 2010: 1231
- 2009: 1262
Bay of Plenty (Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty District)
- 2012: 63
- 2011: 55
- 2010: 59
- 2009: 43