Transnational property ownership in Canada

We talk a lot about people living abroad owning property in Canada, let's take a look at Canadians owning property abroad.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

6 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) We know transnational ownership of properties is real. But how should we define it? And how many properties are owned by who where? First to definitions. We’re primarily interested in ownership of dwellings, where we can define ownership of properties in terms of titles and – in the relatively rare case of corporate ownership – in terms of beneficial ownership. Given this start, we can define transnational ownership of properties in at least two ways, the key distinction being how we locate property owners.

Thoughts on vaccine effectivess estimates

We now have some data on vaccination status of COVID cases and hospitalizations in BC. It's not really enough for robust vaccine effectivness estimates, but given the public interest let's see how far we can get.

Jens von Bergmann

14 minute read

BC now shares data on the vaccination status of cases and hospitalizations in their weekly Data Reports. This is progress, although calling it “data” is reaching. What is shared is graphs that need manual scraping to be turned into (approximate) data. The numbers themselves aren’t particularly meaningful. Vaccines aren’t 100% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID (approximated by “cases” in BC) or hospitalizations. This means that as more people get vaccinated, there will be more cases and hospitalizations among the vaccinated population.

Satellites, Sprawl, and City Six-Packs

Fun with global satellite-derived land use time series.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

7 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) We’re getting better and more accessible datasets for exploring land use change all the time. We have played with the Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) data in the past, where we looked at the population data on a 250m grid to compare how different city’s population distribute spatially, as well as the 1975, 1990, 2000, 2015 time series to see how it changed over time.

Commodity and Keeping it in the Family

A look at non-market transfers of market properties.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

11 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) TLDR Commodification of housing: what does it mean? Is it a problem? Can we decommodify housing? Can we establish a baseline for often this occurs in property transactions? Here we draw upon a recent Statistics Canada data release and older Census data to walk through some of these questions. Commodification in Property Transactions The commodification of housing has been identified as a problem to be resisted by a wide range of analysts and commentators.

Lots of Opportunity: Estimating the Zoning Tax in Vancouver

Zoning bylaws restrict the size and frontage of lots, preventing lots from getting subdivided. The opportunity cost of freezing City of Vancouver land use in RS zoned areas in amber is enormous, it amounts to around $40 billion from preventing 2:1 lots splits, and an additional $100 billion from preventing further subdivision beyond that.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

20 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) TLDR We estimate the land value lost by lot subdivision restrictions in the RS (single-family) zoned lands of Vancouver. These restrictions, also known as the zoning tax, subsidize hoarding of land for the wealthy at the cost of those who wouldn’t mind sharing. We conservatively estimate the overall cost of preventing splitting of lots at $43 billion, or an average of 37% of existing lot land value.