Housing Outcomes

Existing households are partially outcomes of our housing pressures, and basing analysis soley on households introduces collider bias. Which is substantial in tight housing markets and this misspecification can lead to misguided analysis and faulty policy recommendations.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

24 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) Almost everyone agrees that we have a housing crisis in Canada, and that it has gotten progressively worse over recent history. But there is a problem. The metrics most commonly used don’t reflect that. TL;DR Most commonly used metrics use existing households as the base of analysis, but households are a consequence of housing pressures. This kind of misspecification is a form of collider or selection bias that, especially in tight housing markets, misleads researchers toward faulty conclusions and policy recommendations.

Metro Vancouver Planning Regimes

Taking a look at Metro Vancouver planning around housing and population growth.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

23 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) In a previous post we looked at the history of planning regimes in the City of Vancouver. Similar shifts happened in other municipalities in the region, and they also fit into a broader shift in planning at the regional level. Regional level planning is less concerned with zoning and the regulations that govern housing production, and more with coordinating services and the broader guiding principles applying to municipal policies.

Investing in definitions and framing

Taking a closer look at the CHSP data release and clearing up some misunderstandings.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

18 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) With last week’s CHSP release of data on the investment status of residential properties and the framing of the accompanying article there has been a lot of rather uninformed and misleading news coverage. The misleading reporting, combined with sometimes plainly wrong statements by people quoted in the news coverage, on one hand highlights the poor understanding of housing in the public discourse. On the other hand it highlights the importance of providing careful framing with data releases.

Still Short: Suppressed Households in 2021

Checking in on household suppression in Canada using 2021 data.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

13 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) In May we estimated suppressed household formation across Canada using what we called the Montréal Method, finding strong evidence for suppression across many parts of Canada. As a reminder, we designed the Montréal Method to estimate housing shortfalls related to constraints upon current residents who might wish to form independent households but are forced to share by local housing markets. Now that we’ve got 2021 Census data out, it’s time to update our estimates.

Where did all the cheap rents go?

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

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

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.