Finally the new 2019 CMHC Rms data is out. As expected, the high-level numbers are pretty bleak. For Metro Vancouver the vacancy rate inched up a tiny bit from 1.0% in October 2018 to 1.1% in October 2019. In the City of Vancouver the vacancy rate similarly crept from 0.8% in October 2018 to 1.0% in October 2019. With the slight uptick in vacancy rate, both areas saw somewhat lower rents increases, with the (nominal) fixed-sample rent increase in the year before October 2019 clocking in at 4.
The long awaited first batch of data from the Canadian Housing Survey came out yesterday. The Canadian Housing Survey (CHS) is a new survey that aims give a better idea of well housing needs of Canadians are met. Right now there are four tables publicly available, and we will give a quick tour of what’s out there, with a focus on Metro Vancouver, Toronto, Montréal and Calgary. This post is meant as a quick overview of what’s available right now, the code is available on GitHub for anyone that wants to explore this further.
Following up on our previous post on rents and vacancy rates there is another rental stat originating from City of Vancouver documents that is making the rounds and that is misleading. Again, our housing crisis is fundamentally a rental crisis, so it’s important to keep the numbers straight so that we can better focus our energy and resources. This one is a bit more serious, but still has been making the rounds quite broadly on social media.
A number I have been watching fairly closely is the job vacancy rate. It comes from StatCan’s Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS), and is updated quarterly. It is one of several surveys that complement the Labour Force Survey (LFS) that tends to receive a lot of attention. But the LFS is missing some important aspects of the labour market. I have been pushing JVWS data on numerous occasions, so I wanted to do a quick post to add a little more context.
Metro Vancouver’s population is growing. For planning purposes we want to understand how our population will be growing. For that we need projections. Here we need to carefully distinguish two related but distinct types of population projections. projections of population demand, and projections of population growth. Projecting demand, or even just estimating current population demand, is complex. Demand is a function of a variety of factors, most importantly jobs, and amenities, as well as home prices and rents (in relation to incomes and wealth).