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.

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.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

11 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) The Federal, Provincial, and Municipal governance structure in Canada creates a fun pattern whereby all governments are happy to take credit for good things that happen, but when bad things happen, each tends to point the finger at the others. So we get the spider-Man meme. When it comes to Canada’s housing crisis, pointing Spider-Men are all too common. But sometimes one level of government really is to blame.

Census quirks; using UBC area as an example

Census data is great. But census data also has lots of little quirks. We take the Point Grey Peninsula as an example to show how census data can go sideways.

Jens von Bergmann

11 minute read

Census data serves as the baseline for a lot of downstream data products, we like to think of it as a solid and authoritative data source. And the data from the Canadian census is indeed amazing. But counting people is hard, and the closer one looks the more one realizes little problems. All it takes to shake your faith in census data is spending 30 minutes browsing dissemination block or dissemination area data in a neighbourhood you know well.