Dipping Abbotsford house prices suggest being a couch potato is no longer more profitable than working

Dipping Abbotsford house prices suggest being a couch potato is no longer more profitable than working

The value of the average house rose by $350k from 2014 to 2019, more than most would make in 5 years

Home prices have dipped the last year, but if you owned a house five years ago, you’re still much wealthier – on paper at least – now than then.

In fact, in terms of income, if you owned a “typical house,” there’s a good chance you’ve made more by sitting on your couch than actually working.

In August of 2014, the benchmark price for a typical home – as defined by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board – was $451,400. This August, the typical home cost $803,900. That’s an increase of just over $350,000 – an average of about $70,000 each year. The last census found that the median employment income in 2015 for full-time workers in Abbotsford was just shy of $50,000.

Of course, those numbers are a little flawed – the type of home defined as “typical” by the FVREB inevitably changes a bit each year, as older homes get torn down and new ones get built. But five properties that sold in each of 2014 and 2019 all saw major gains, with sale prices between $200,000 on the low end to more than $400,000 on the high end, according to figures provided by BC Assessment.

Still, you should probably get off that couch. All those gains actually came between 2014 and 2018. The last year, the typical house has actually dipped in value by about $25,000 – or 3.1 per cent.

Owners of townhomes and apartments have also saw their properties spike in value – although prices have dropped even more over the last year.

The benchmark price for townhomes increased from $215,100 in 2014 to $383,600 this August, although prices have sank about five per cent in the last year. Still, over five years, that’s an average increase of $33,700.

Apartment benchmark prices have more than doubled, from just $140,700 in 2014 to $311,300 this August. That increase amounts to about $34,000 each year.

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