affordability

Where did all the cheap rents go?

An investigation into the 320k "lost" units renting below $750.

Jens von Bergmann

22 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) It can be really useful to count things, but sometimes numbers end up causing confusion and misunderstanding rather than helping. Often this has to do with how the number is presented and attached to claims. Other times it has to do with problematic procedures used to obtain the number. Here we want to explore these problems more in detail concerning a claim that “Canada lost 322,000 affordable homes” between 2011 and 2016.

Rent growth in GDP

People in BC spend a lot of money on rent (and imputed rent), and that's a problem. The way to decrease this "Real Estate Industry" share of GDP is to build more housing.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

5 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) Every now and then the topic of the GDP share of the “Real Estate Industry” comes up, often linked to the suggestion that an economy has become too dependent upon real estate. But this usually involves a fundamental misreading of the data. As people who pay attention know, the NAICS sector [53] “Real Estate Industry” of the expenditure based GDP produced by StatCan is mostly just rent and imputed rent.

Tumbling turnover

Digging deeper into Canadian residential mobility, tracking changes in mobility over time, and comparing data sources.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

15 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) We’re increasingly gathering lots of different measures of residential mobility in Canada. Which is great! Especially insofar as we want up-to-date information about demographic response through the pandemic. Here we want to add the CMHC Rental Market Survey (RMS) to the mix, comparing to Census and CHS (Housing Survey) results. Adding it in reveals a general decline in tenant mobility only recently (and partially) reversed.

On Broadway

The Broadway Plan is coming before council, time for a review of what's being proposed, which parts are good and which might need work, and how that fits into the historical context.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

13 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) We have finally found some time to take a closer look at the Broadway Plan. There are many good things to say about the plan, it adds housing in an amenity and job rich area about to get a new subway line. It promises to not just undo the downzoning the city imposed on parts of the area in the 1970s but enables a bit more housing to make up for lost time.

Children are good, actually

Cities are changing, how do we know if we are headed in the right direction? Looking at the change in children gives us a simple uncontroversial metric to assess that, most people can agree that children are good for cities.

Jens von Bergmann

16 minute read

There are many useful metrics to understand neighbourhood change, change in the income distribution, change in the share of population in low income and change in dwelling units, change in households who rent, or just overall population change and how that relates to zoning. All these tell us something about how neighbourhoods change, the metric we want to focus on in this post is the number of children under 15.