Tuesday, April 24, 2007

GVRD Population from 2001 Census Profiles

2001 Data:
Age -- Population
10-14 -- 122,000
15-19 -- 131,000
20-24 -- 136,000
25-29 -- 140,000
30-34 -- 158,000
35-39 -- 174,000
40-44 -- 175,000
45-49 -- 161,000
50-54 -- 144,000
55-59 -- 101,000
60-64 -- 79,000
65-69 -- 68,000

Keep in mind that this data is from the 2001 census-- the 2006 data isn't out yet, or at least I haven't found it, so these age groups have aged by 5 years.

The first push of the baby boomers is now in the 60-64 age range, with the big bump to hit in another 5 years. The boomers explain why we have so many houses from the 70s and 80s in town! As far as the questions about the rate of household formation go, well, there is no sudden lump of kids graduating and getting jobs and buying houses-- the number of kids out there has been on a long slow downward trend ever since the 35-39 age group (who are now 40-44) bought houses, probably about 20 years ago. Would they explain the boom at the end of the 1980s? Would the first wave of boomers explain the boom at the end of the 70s?

From the 2001 census to the 2006 census, the number of private dwellings in the GVRD went from 786,000 to 871,000, up 10.8%. Over the same time, the GVRD population went up 6.5%, implying that there's an extra 4% of empty (or underused) housing stock in the lower mainland.


M- said...

Lower Mainland population growth is at its lowest levels in the last 40 years? The number of kids of household-formation age keeps dropping-- fewer and fewer locally-raised first-time buyers? 4% empty dwellings above whatever the norm is? Rampant construction as though we were in a population boom? The wave of baby boomers on the verge of retirement, some of whom will be downsizing their homes?

Can real price increases really be justified in predictions from here on out? Can the current prices be justified? We already know that current prices can't be justified based on rents-- future increases can't be justified on population growth, and they can't be justified on fewer and fewer kids graduating and buying homes. Besides the two-week party, what can prices be justified on? Yes, Vancouver's a nice place. We already know that. So does the world-- they get to hear that Vancouver (a backwater city in a backwater country known for the cold, snow, and mounted police) is one of the best places in the world to live. Just like Bern, Zurich, and Geneva. At least Switzerland is a financial powerhouse...

jesse said...

This was discussed in a post several weeks ago. If you drill into the numbers you will see suburban areas without new developments and high SFH density (Coquitlam, Burnaby) have population decreases. The next 15-20 years could see empty nesters underutilizing their houses and their children flowing into more affordable higher density properties. I think the gap between when 20somethings leave and when their parents downgrade could be a factor. That would mean of course the population per household will decrease but I haven't seen data from '06 to see if we are trending down.

Also note immigration preloads the 0-40 age bins a bit higher than the natural population without immigration.

"there's an extra 4% of empty (or underused) housing stock in the lower mainland."

This is a great point but I would check for differences how dwellings are counted between 01 and 06. There is also a difference between dwellings occupied by usual residents and total dwellings. If you are interested compare the dwelling count changes between 91-96 and 96-01 to see what has changed. Also note this is not just a Vancouver phenomenon; the entire country has produced additional dwellings at a faster rate than the population change. I thought this was a "smoking gun" about an impending oversupply but it seems way to obvious. The baby-echo transfer may partly explain it but wouldn't it be nice for priced-out bears if it is massive oversupply? ;)

M- said...

Along the same topic... The Vancouver Sun sets up a straw-man and knocks it down:

Real estate collapse not looming, after all.

The bust theory says people sell their homes and move into a nursing facility at age 65. The opposite is true


Jesse: I must have missed the last time this topic was discussed. Unfortunately I have no data for 2006. The data I have for 1991/1996/2001 varies within 0.1 people per household for each of the municipalities-- a resolution of about 3.5%, so not detailed enough data to make any conclusions about that 10-year period. More neighbourhoods tended to have a slight increase in the number of people per household than a drop.

I'm sure that downtown there has been some change, biased towards fewer people per household due to the size of the condos being built, but I don't have enough data to say anything conclusively.

jesse said...

Three significant digits is not enough reolution. The sites to use are:

06 Census

01 Census

96 Census

year pop %YOY dwell %YOY spread
2006 2116581 1.27% 870992 2.07% 0.80%
2001 1986965 1.64% 786277 2.43% 0.79%
1996 1831665 2.71% 697429 2.74% 0.03%
1991 1602590 - 609349

year pop %YOY dwell %YOY spread
2006 5113149 1.77% 1894436 2.54% 0.77%
2001 4682897 1.89% 1671087 2.26% 0.37%
1996 4263757 2.71% 1494498 N/A
1991 3898933 - N/A

You can do the same for other cities but it seems there is something causing housing to increase faster than population. All dwellings produced must also produce utility. The question is, what are these extra dwellings actually being used for? Are they for:
- The younger generation moving out of the family home causing SFH underutilisation
- Vacation homes
- Foreign students and temporary residents
- Unused or WIP
- etc.

domus said...

Part of it might simply be due to smaller Household's size. However another part can be related to second homes and investments.

All right as long as prices go up, but any retreat or flattening might trigger liquidation.

I am always astonished to the immigration figures for the past few years. It seems we are heading for a big crash.

patriotz said...

the entire country has produced additional dwellings at a faster rate than the population change.

Gee guys, haven't you noticed the elephant under the carpet?

Unprecedentedly high real RE prices on a national level

However another part can be related to second homes and investments.

In other worlds, speculation. Speculative holdings can take many forms. The obvious is the empty house or condo. But people who live in bigger dwellings than they need are also speculating, whether in the case of people buying up or empty nesters who don't downsize.

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble. Same recipe as south of the border, and same results.