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Has the oil boom generated new problems of housing affordability in resource-driven agglomerations in Canada? A case study of St. John's, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, and Fort McMurray, 1991-2011

TitleHas the oil boom generated new problems of housing affordability in resource-driven agglomerations in Canada? A case study of St. John's, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, and Fort McMurray, 1991-2011
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsOkkola, A. Sinikka, and Brunelle C.
JournalUrban Geography
Pages1 - 29
Keywordscanada, housing affordability, housing market, inequality, labor market, oil, resource driven economy, resource-driven agglomerations
Abstract

Recent studies focused on Canadian metropolitan areas suggest that growing income inequality underlies problems of housing affordability for low- and moderate-income earners. This article investigates how unprecedented commodity-led economic growth between 1991 and 2011 has impacted housing affordability in five resource-driven agglomerations in Canada. Housing affordability is analyzed across income quintiles, looking at income, housing costs, tenure, housing quality, and housing debt. Using Statistics Canada Census microdata, we find that low- to mid-income earners faced the fastest relative increase in housing costs between 1991 and 2011, combined with small income gains over that period. Homeowners in the lowest income quintiles seem particularly vulnerable when carrying a mortgage, with economic volatility engendering greater risks of housing market contractions or job loss over time. Whereas previous literature has emphasized housing vulnerability in large metropolitan areas, the results highlight new patterns of risk-laden housing-related vulnerability in resource-driven regions in Canada.

URLhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02723638.2017.1314174
DOI10.1080/02723638.2017.1314174
Document URLhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02723638.2017.1314174