Metro News and  Jeff Hodson reports that the latest Royal LePage housing price survey shows  a decline in housing prices in Metro Vancouver for the first quarter of the year. The reduction was not massive and is calculated as a weighted average of median home prices by the type of property. That decrease for the first quarter was 1.9 per cent.

“In a statement, Randy Ryalls, general manager of Royal LePage Stirling Realty, said the Metro Vancouver foreign buyer tax and eroding affordability cooled the market, but speculated the price drop may have bottomed out. “We are starting to see signs of a quicker-than-anticipated rebound in many regions across Greater Vancouver.”

The median price for a Metro Vancouver two-storey house was $1,503,146 down from 1,604,757 in the previous quarter. And the numbers for the City of Vancouver?  “According to the survey, in the City of Vancouver, the median price of a two-storey detached home is $2,345,272; the median price of a bungalow is $1,304,675; and the median price condominium is $658,775.”

Meanwhile Joanne Lee-Young in the Vancouver Sun notes that March sales in Metro Vancouver increased by 48 per cent compared to February, suggesting that the “psychological aftermath of the foreign buyer tax” may now be over, with eager buyers back in the market. In Burnaby detached home sales increased from 47 in February to 100 in March, with apartment sales increasing from 137 to 220 units.

“It is definitely true that, outside of the top, things are very hot again,” said University of B.C. real estate finance professor Tom Davidoff, adding that aside from some initial numbers, he is also hearing chatter on the street that is reminiscent of frothier times. “I was walking around in Kits the other day and overheard a conversation: ‘it was $100K over ask, with no contingency and we still didn’t get it.’” 

The snap back into the market of potential home buyers  chasing fewer listings could  also mean higher price increases in the next quarter of the year.