The foreclosure rate in Saint John, New Brunswick, is reaching the worst levels real estate observers have seen in decades, say two long-time real estate agents.

In an interview with CBC News, Hodges Hamm said 210 of the local listings in the area for this year are all foreclosures.

"The last time I saw foreclosures in the numbers I'm seeing was in 1980. That's when interest rates were at 18% and 21%," he said.

Hamm added that nearly 3.7% of homes listed for sale in the greater Saint John area for 2014 have been foreclosed on by banks or other lenders.

A huge number of the homes were empty when the bank moved in, Hamm said, with the owners now living and working out of New Brunswick. All of these are being sold below assessed value, he noted.

John Eisner of Credit Counselling Services of Atlantic Canada backs Hamm’s claims.

"I find it very alarming to see so many [foreclosures] when the interest rates are so great at this time. Something's not right," he said.

Accprding to Eisner, a “tsunami of mortgage defaults” could emerge due to hikes in interest rates, given the current property market conditions.

Today’s mortgage rates are as low as 3%.

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