Toronto

First time buyer Lorenz curves revisited

Taking another look at first time buyer affordability: updating with 2021 data, accounting for property taxes, and introducing a discretized version of the measure.

Keith Stewart Jens von Bergmann

11 minute read

Three years ago we wrote a post on First Time Buyer Lorenz Curves, looking at what share of homes are in principle available to first-time home buyers.1 That post continues to be a more popular one, so we thought it would be good to update it with more recent data and expand some of the ideas further. In this post we want to update this with 2021 data that has now become available, consider the effect of property taxes on affordability that we previously neglected, and introduce a new discretized version of this measure that condenses the information into two parameters, making is easier to digest and compare across different housing markets and allows the tracing of change over time.

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.

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.

25 Years of Structural Change

Taking the long view on changes in our dwelling stock by structural type.

Nathan Lauster Jens von Bergmann

7 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) How are big Canadian Metros growing? Can we see different patterns? Here we want to provide a brief look back at the last 25 years, exploring change over time from 1996 to our most recent Census in 2021. This is also a test of R skills for one of us, who began this post as a learning exercise drawing upon Jens' excellent CanCensus package and recent data updates.

Residential mobility in Canada

Residential mobility is essential for family formation, accommodating life changes, and the economy. A look at residential mobility in Canada over time.

Jens von Bergmann

8 minute read

This excellent NYTimes article on mobility in the US coming out today nudged me into doing a quick post on residential mobility in Canada. While there are lots of similarities between Canada and the US, there are some important differences when it comes to residential mobility. A while back Nathan Lauster compared residential mobility between the two countries and noticed that the declining trend in US residential mobility is much more muted in Canada, and may have reversed by the 2016 census, the last year for which we currently have data in Canada.