newsfail

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.

Mythical oversupply

Going back to the 'supply myth' well.

Jens von Bergmann

20 minute read

regular vs recalibrated surplus

It’s been over two years now since the news media reported on John Rose claiming that Vancouver has a surplus of housing and Rose shared his Working Paper, Version 1 detailing his claims of some mythical oversupply of housing in Vancouver. We have written about this on several occasions, but we were missing a piece of data that can greatly simplify our arguments: Cross-tabulations of structural type by document type (whether a dwelling was occupied by usual residents, or occupied by temporarily present persons, or unoccupied) for the censuses 2001-2016.

Running on Empties

Putting Canadian empty homes data into context.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

7 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) A spectre haunts housing policy. The spectre of empty homes. So how many empty homes are out there? Unfortunately, inept analyses of census data often leaves us with incomplete, or even worse, completely wrong answers to this question. When we get data on empty homes for a given city, they’re seldom put into comparative perspective. What’s worse, sometimes when they’re put into comparative perspective, they’re compared with the wrong data and picked up by credulous media, spreading misinformation.

How not to analyze the roots of the affordability crisis

Taking a closer look at Josh Gordon's "Solving Wozny’s Puzzle" working paper.

Jens von Bergmann

16 minute read

Another “working paper” on Vancouver’s real estate woes came out, this one by Josh Gordon. We have been contemplating for a week now if it is worth responding to, but after seeing one too many obviously false statements about what the working paper supposedly shows making the rounds, we felt the benefits of addressing this might outweigh the costs of further entrenching the camps in Vancouver’s real estate debates with this post.

There is no Brain Drain, but there might be Zombies

Digging into yet another round of claims of some group of people leaving Vancouver.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

7 minute read

Zombie attack! Zombies fleeing Vancouver want to eat your brain… drain… or something. A couple of weeks ago The Canadian Press reported a story asserting that young professionals were leaving Vancouver because of the high cost of housing. This fits in with a common zombie refrain that we hear from the media. It’s a story that just won’t die, no matter how many times it’s proven wrong: Millennials, or young people, or boomers, or people important for some other reason are leaving Vancouver because of housing.