Thursday, June 26, 2008

Quarterly Migration - VHB Guest Post

The quarterly demographic statistics are out from Statcan here. (PDF) We can expect to see the regular MSM stories about 'everyone' moving to BC. We've covered this to death before.

Population growth is fairly mediocre, either in percentage or absolute terms. This is fascinating because the 1980s and 1990s booms featured huge population growth. Not this time.

Anyway, here is one chart I picked out. This is interprovincial migration. Note that in previous booms we were over +10K a quarter. This 'boom' we haven't even hit 5K. In fact, that big negative outflow from 97Q4 to 03Q3 was really unprecedented. BC lost 58,086 people to other provinces over that period. Between 2003Q3 and 2008Q1, the total interprovincial inflow has been only 44,823. So, we STILL haven't dug our way back to zero from the interprovincial hole we got ourselves in through the late 90s. Sure, there have been international immigrants, but no boom there. We've just been building condos for each other. No problem.

So, next time the water cooler chatter turns to all of those people who are moving to BC from other provinces, you can say, "No actually, I saw the real deal on Langley Financial Planning!"

VHB

13 comments:

Etienne de Cochon said...

Thanks for the information VHB and Mohican. This is the most substantial real estate blog originating in the metro vancouver area by far.

M- said...

Huh... I never would've guessed that the BC figures were so low. The hangover's coming, once the record number of condos under construction start getting finished...

RentingSucks said...

Why would people even move here from other provinces? Hey we'll pay you about the same and you can pay twice as much for housing.

Warren said...

Do you have a similar chart tracking international migration in/out?

Van Housing Blogger said...

Hi,

I agree M. Cochon! Mohican has really picked up the baton from the old VHB site on the data analysis front. He does some amazing things with data. I appreciate the daily numbers we get from other places, but the real value added brain power comes from guys like Mo!

Van Housing Blogger said...

BTW, should have noted that this chart graphs a four quarter moving average. The actual 08Q1 interprovincial migration was 1710, the lowest since 05Q4.

Van Housing Blogger said...

Warren: here is the comparable chart for immigrants.

You can see that for immigrants we are not at 1990s peak levels, but we're not doing badly. 1990s peak was 12K; we're now around 10K. But there is no sign of any huge boom in immigration that could be used to explain the housing boom.

Here is 07Q4 total pop growth.

Here is one of my faves--10yr pop growth. We're pretty much at the lowest ever. Pent up demand--my ass.

Warren said...

Thanks for the numbers. I wonder how many international immigrants turn into a housing requirement. I'm sure they are squeezing more into a household than an inter-provincial migrant.

Joel said...

I am also quite interested in what happens when a slowdown occurs, quite obvious there is an ensuing decrease in newcomers, the talking heads mention what is happening now, the mediocre net new migrant figures, and never consider a scenario of what could happen if things turn.

jesse said...

"I'm sure they are squeezing more into a household than an inter-provincial migrant."

That could be the case but statistics indicate such an effect is not significant. There are way more units being built than population growth, as will be absolutely clear about 1-2 years from now. The average people per dwelling is holding steady if not slightly decreasing and, unless new building permits stop being handed out cold turkey, it will remain close to current levels for many years to come.

Dave said...

The population growth in the GVRD is over 25,000 per year. The population of North Vancouver is about 50,000 people. Imagine the amount of housing there. Have a look on Google Maps or go for a drive. Now imagine adding that amount to the GVRD every 2 years!

bcubbins said...

The pop. of the City of North Van is about 50,000. Add another 90,000 for the surrounding District.

25,000 represents only a 1.2% annual growth rate.

buff_butler said...

This is just a guess but I think as real estate starts to fail you will see more out-migrants as people begin to take profits.