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.

A Brief History of Vancouver Planning & Development Regimes

Tracking how Vancouver regulations for development have changed over time, illsutrated with two examples.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

25 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) Say you want to construct some multi-family housing in Vancouver. How long will it take? The answer is simple: it depends. There are many factors upon which it depends. Here we want to highlight one in particular: when you started. As it turns out, it used to take a lot less time to build multi-family housing. There is reason to believe we could reduce that time again, but getting there involves gathering a better understanding of our current development regime, and placing it in historical perspective.

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.

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.