No shortage in Housing BS

There is a special brain worm making the rounds that Vancouver supply has been outstripping demand. Which is obvious nonsense, but maybe still deserves a detailed takedown.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

13 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) Say you built a bunch of housing in a cornfield in the middle of rural Iowa. Would people come to live in it? Maybe. But probably not. Let’s imagine the same scenario scooted over to Vancouver. The conditions for our little field of dreams have changed. Here we’re pretty comfortable predicting: if you build it, they will come. Housing limits population growth here in a way it does not in rural Iowa.

CensusMapper (p)review

CensusMapper is six years old now. A review, and a preview where things could be heading.

Jens von Bergmann

13 minute read

We started CensusMapper in 2015, and it’s hard to believe that it’s already six years old. And with the first release of the 2021 census just a few months away it’s a good time for a review. And a preview of what could possibly come in the future. TL;DR CensusMapper has outgrown it’s status as a personal side project and is now widely used by researchers, government officials and staff, non-profit organizations, and the general public.

Fixing parking

Paving the way for removing minimum parking requirements.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

15 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) New parking proposal just dropped! As Vancouver City Council once again discusses parking it seems like a good time to give a brief overview of the trade-offs involved, with special focus on the progressivity of parking permit fees. Vancouver proposed to introduce a city-wide parking permit program, requiring residents to buy a $45/year parking permit to park their vehicles on city streets (reduced to $5 for people with low incomes), or pay a $3 overnight visitor parking fee.

Commodity and Keeping it in the Family

A look at non-market transfers of market properties.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

11 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) TLDR Commodification of housing: what does it mean? Is it a problem? Can we decommodify housing? Can we establish a baseline for often this occurs in property transactions? Here we draw upon a recent Statistics Canada data release and older Census data to walk through some of these questions. Commodification in Property Transactions The commodification of housing has been identified as a problem to be resisted by a wide range of analysts and commentators.

Industrial Strength Zombies: Vancouver Edition

What industries are dominant in Vancouver? People throw around all kinds of crazy stories, time take a look at the data and put some zombies to rest. At least for a day or two before someone else digs them up again.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

12 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) The “real estate has swallowed Vancouver’s economy” zombie is back, with wild claims by a City Councillor that “If you look at the long-form census data going back to 1986 every 5 years, […] we went from selling logs to selling real estate […], major shift from resource extraction to real estate property development and construction as the primary driver in the local economy.