Finance Minister Mike de Jong and Premier Christy Clark took questions in July 2016 on their planned foreign buyer tax. (File photo)

Foreign buyers tax had little impact on housing prices: report

Royal LePage study says prices will resume upward trajectory

Despite a 15 per cent foreign homebuyers tax effectuated by the province last August, home prices in the Lower Mainland are poised to resume on an upwards trajectory, according to a house price survey released today by Royal LePage.

Using findings from the company’s second-quarter market survey, Royal LePage says the aggregate price of a home in Greater Vancouver rose 2.6 per cent year-over-year to an aggregate price of $1,181,309.

The report found that the median price of a bungalow in Greater Vancouver increased by 5.3 per cent to $1,379,731 while a two-storey home prices slipped by 0.5 per cent year-over-year to $1,480,706.

During the same period, the median price of condominiums saw increased by 12.4 per cent to $578,213.

“While many onlookers expected outright year-over-year home price declines in light of the hasty implementation of governmental policy aimed at cooling the market last year, overall appreciation in the region has remained decidedly intact,” said Randy Ryalls, general manager of Royal LePage Sterling Realty, in a news release.

“The market is back to facing a supply and demand gap.”

The release says the provincial government’s effort to cool the market “had little impact on the broader economy.”

Ryalls said the “only major factor” they have seen impact the market was the introduction of new mortgage rules, “which ultimately took between 20 to 30 per cent of buyers out of the market place.”

“If we connect the dots, we’d realize that sales activity and pricing within the condominium market would have been much higher if the rules weren’t changed,” he said.

Looking ahead, Royal LaPage is predicting that aggregate price of a home in Greater Vancouver will remain relatively flat, rising by 0.5 per cent year-over-year.

The survey reports that properties in Surrey continued to appreciate in the second quarter, rising 7.4 per cent to an aggregate price of $759,837. The median price of two-story home, bungalow and condominium increased by 6.8 per cent, 9.5 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively.

Langley saw the highest appreciation in Greater Vancouver in the second quarter of 2017. Aggregate home prices rose 12.3 per cent to $791,721.

Prices in Burnaby recovered after declines in the first quarter of this year, rising 6 per cent to $1,030,306.

In Coquitlam, aggregate home prices climbed 4.1 per cent to $949,576.