Smarter people than I have already responded to the recent furor about John Rose’s working paper, which is (part of?) the result of one year of research on affordability by the author, arguing that Vancouver has no supply problem. Most notably Nathan Lauster in a series of blog posts taking a look at the theoretical framework and methods used and running some numbers himself. I don’t have much to add to the first post, which took the time to highlight some of the useful demand measures that are either already implemented or currently under discussion and makes the point that the idea that we have enough housing in Vancouver, especially enough rental housing, requires an extraordinarily strong argument in the face of sub 1% rental vacancy rates.
Recently there has been a lot of talk about households, and how they match up with dwelling units. So it’s probably a good idea to take a closer look at what a household is. Apart from better understanding what a household is, I want to also dig deeper into how people live in households. Part of my motivation is to start to understand latent demand in our housing market, some of which may come from suppressed household formation.
The last larger dump of census data arrived today with lots of interesting variables. We wanted to have a quick look at commuting data. Journey to Work Journey to work data tells us about where people work relative to where they live. We first look at what proportion of the population of Metro Vancouver municipalities lives in the same community that they work in. On CensusMapper we have an interactive Canada-wide map for that.
Currently we are at record levels of dwelling units under construction in Metro Vancouver. At the same time, we are also at record timelines from building start to completion. Those two are of course related in that the more projects are being worked on simultaneously, the harder it is to find and coordinate all the labour and materials to finish the projects. There are other reasons too for escalating construction times.
The election data got posted on the Vancouver Open Data website so we decided to take a very quick peek at how the candidates fared by polling station. Citizens can vote at any station they want, so there is are no voting districts. But proximity to home is probably a large factor in determining where people vote, although some may choose locations close to work or somewhere else convenient. For anyone that wants to refine the analysis, the R Notebook that generated this post lives on GitHub.