Children are good, actually

Cities are changing, how do we know if we are headed in the right direction? Looking at the change in children gives us a simple uncontroversial metric to assess that, most people can agree that children are good for cities.

Jens von Bergmann

16 minute read

There are many useful metrics to understand neighbourhood change, change in the income distribution, change in the share of population in low income and change in dwelling units, change in households who rent, or just overall population change and how that relates to zoning. All these tell us something about how neighbourhoods change, the metric we want to focus on in this post is the number of children under 15.

Estimating Suppressed Household Formation

Household formation is a complex process that is impacted by many factors. We explore the variation in household maintainer rates across Canada to estimate the CMA-level effects on household maintainer rates and suppressed household formation using Montréal as a counterfactual, paying attention to differences in age structure and cultural aspects.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

24 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) TL;DR We develop and elaborate a Montréal Method for estimating housing shortfalls related to constraints upon current residents who might wish to form independent households but are forced to share by local housing markets. Applying simple versions of the Montréal Method to Metro Areas across Canada suggests that Toronto has the biggest shortfall, which we estimate at 250,000 to 400,000 dwellings, depending upon assumptions.

Planning for scarcity

Vancouver's planning regime is set up to reinforce housing scarcity A closer look how Vancouver plans for growth, what's wrong with it, and some ideas how to fix it.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

8 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) This is the first in a series of posts where we will explore what’s gone wrong with planning for growth, how misguided planning and policy-making has exacerbated our housing shortage, and ways to start fixing things. The second post in this series tries to estimate suppressed household formation. Planning vs controlling Growth mostly happens along the intersection between markets and regulation. We are all for ramping up non-market housing, which is badly needed, but most housing creation and exchange in Canada occurs within market contexts.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

11 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) The Federal, Provincial, and Municipal governance structure in Canada creates a fun pattern whereby all governments are happy to take credit for good things that happen, but when bad things happen, each tends to point the finger at the others. So we get the spider-Man meme. When it comes to Canada’s housing crisis, pointing Spider-Men are all too common. But sometimes one level of government really is to blame.

Vacancy rates and rent change, 2021 update

The 2021 CMHC Rental Market Survey data finally arrived. Time to do a refresh of our vacancy rate vs rent change analysis. And take a look at where Vancouver is at.

Jens von Bergmann

6 minute read

The new CMHC Rms data is out today, and it’s been three years since we did our post on vacancy rates and rent change. That post still gets a lot of views, so maybe it’s a good time for an update. The Rms survey is carried out in October, and the results used to come out in the following month. Checking the date of our post from three years ago it was written on November 28th reporting on the Rms from October 2018.