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How much do you stand to save by living in the 'burbs? A breakdown by the minute

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – You know the lingo when it comes to owning a home: location, location, location.

But how much do you save by leaving Vancouver’s downtown core?

A new study from Maclean’s Magazine calculates that number down to an exact dollar figure, when it comes to single-family detached houses.

“Ten to 20 minutes driving, prices drop by an average of $23,700. When you get sort of between 20 and 30 minutes out, there’s a much more rapid drop-off of about $45,000,” explains Chris Sorensen, senior editor with the magazine.

But he says the drop-off isn’t the same in the other cities in the study, Montreal, Toronto, and Calgary.

“A 10-20 minute drive away from the downtown core in Vancouver can save you quite a bit of money. Whereas in some of the other cities, the rate at which the prices of property decrease is a lot more linear. In Vancouver, you kind of have a big drop-off as soon as you move away and then it becomes a lot more steady.”

While that 20-30 minute commute could yield savings of around $45,000 for every minute’s drive out of the downtown core, once you get over a half hour, that figure drops to just under $15,000.

The dollar figure shrinks even further once you get between 40 and 50 minutes, to less than $10,000 per minute.

Between 20 and 30 minutes is also the sweet spot for the biggest drop in average home prices; a 20-minute commute into Downtown Vancouver puts you in the $1.3-million range. Ten minutes more, and that drops to around $855,000.

After 40 minutes, that figure drops to just over $700,000.

The Maclean’s article suggests while today’s families might prefer urban living, many still cling to the suburban lifestyle, which includes a preference for single-family detached houses and the amenities that come with them.

It means a huge premium on downtown homes, but also that those home buyers willing to go the distance can save themselves big money.