Commute vs. housing quality

Realty company analyzes drive times versus housing sales.

The commute from Vancouver to Abbotsford is typically 25 minutes longer than the commute to North Surrey and 10 minutes longer than Langley.

But what is that time worth to a home buyer?

“We knew the savings are significant but we wanted accurate numbers,” said Randy Dyck, president of RE/MAX Little Oak Realty in Abbotsford.

“We analyzed sales in North Surrey, Langley City and Abbotsford and correlated these results with drive times. The results are striking,” he said.

Based on recent average sales prices provided by MLS data, a 2,400-square-foot home in Abbotsford would sell for approximately $390,593. The same house would sell for $503,088 in North Surrey and $519,984 in Langley. This makes the same home in Abbotsford $125,000 less expensive than North Surrey and $140,000 less than Langley.

“Buying a few minutes further east could save a buyer $14,000 per extra mile of commute. That could mean the difference between buying a townhouse or buying a house with a yard,” said Paul Penner, also from RE/MAX.

The 25-minute increase in drive time from Surrey to Abbotsford equates to a savings of $5,028 per minute and the 10-minute increase from Langley City could save the buyer a whopping $14,260 per minute behind the wheel.