Basement Confidential: Vancouver's Informal Housing Stock

Basement suites are the Schrödinger's cat of dwelling units, they span the space betweem formal and informal housing, viewed by some as the problem of, and by others as the solution to Vancouver's housing woes.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

12 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) Informal housing While housing is highly regulated via zoning bylaws, building code, and fire code, in situations of housing scarcity we often get informal housing that exists outside of - or only partially covered by - the existing regulatory framework. We often associate slums or shantytowns with the term informal housing, but it also applies to more organized settlements like Kowloon Walled City, or, in the context of subterranean Vancouver, a good portion of our secondary suite stock.

Forced Out in Canada: New Data from CHS

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

14 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) TL;DR The new data release from CHS 2018 enables us to return to looking at mobility, with a special focus on forced moves. We estimate and compare the risk of forced moves for renters across Canada. We also provide some evidence for its sharp decline in BC in 2018, following protections put in place by the NDP. Finally, we compare risk of “forced move” to risk of “choice move” for renters.

Keep on moving

More on reasons to move.

Nathan Lauster Jens von Bergmann

3 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) More results from the new Canadian Housing Survey dropped earlier this week! And they provide new insights into why Canadians move. Last time we only got provincial results. Now we can break down reasons for the last move by metro area and current tenure, but this time around we looking at the last move no matter when it happend, as opposed to only considering moves in the past five years as in the previous data release.

2019 CMHC Rental Market Survey

Checking in with the new Rms data.

Jens von Bergmann

3 minute read

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.

Canadian Housing Survey

Taking a first look at the new Canadian Housing Survey data

Jens von Bergmann

4 minute read

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.