Read the case overview carefully before proceeding to the subsequent sections and questions. Each
section will describe a practical management problem that can be addressed by answering a question.
Each question can be solved by drawing on techniques learned in Lab 1 through Lab 7 earlier in the term.
What to submit: Please submit answers to the questions using complete paragraphs (usually one per
question) and screenshots (as often as is appropriate) in a pdf document using the lab submission template
provided on Brightspace.
As of September 2021, there is growing awareness about the price of housing across Canada, and notably
in Halifax. During the summer Nova Scotia provincial election period, for example, the price of rent and
shortage of housing became a major point of discussion, with some advocates describing the situation as
“several years into a crisis” (Pace, 2021). However, both politicians and citizens alike often disagreed about
the scope and magnitude of the issue.
Fortunately, we have data that can help. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is a
crown corporation with a mandate to assist housing for Canadians. Founded shortly after the second world
war, its purpose was once to find housing for veterans. Now it provides programs for making mortgages
more affordable and enforces policies designed to make rent more accessible. The CMHC also provides
data on rental affordability, including information on the average price of rent for various regions in Halifax
through its information portal. They also annually provide high quality rental market survey data, which
reflects a comprehensive survey of rental markets used to inform sound business, personal and
government decision making (CMHC 2021).
The data provided by CMHC is not formatted in a way that is conducive to data analysis, though it is
incredibly useful for learning about Canada’s rental markets. They provide data in rows and columns,
complete with notes at the bottom of the file, and provide the various tables of interest in Excel tabs. The
is approximately one year behind the present, and largely represents changes in rental markets between
October 2019 and October 2020. Unlike in previous capstone labs, it will be your job to search for the
necessary tables and prepare your data necessary for analysis. You have been provided with two files,
which are simplified versions of the CMA’s data:
1. rmr-canada-2020-en.xlsx – CMHC’s rental market data for Canada as a whole.
2. rmr-halifax-2020-en.xlsx – CMHC’s rental market data for Halifax.
As before, use Tableau or Excel to create visualizations that help you learn about Halifax’s housing
situation. While your visualizations and analysis will be graded as normal, your ability to retrieve and
critically assess the data will be extra-important for this task.
1. WHERE IS THE PRICE OF RENT INCREASING?
In order to effectively assess local issues, it is important to take a wider perspective. CMHC provides a
data table that summarizes the changes in rental prices between 2019 and 2020. Investigate the rmrcanada-2020-en.xlsx file to visualize data that help us understand how Halifax compares to other
provinces and major cities (called ‘census metropolitan areas’ or CMA) in Canada. However, it is not easy
to create visualizations from this data, and you may have to prepare it in a new spreadsheet.
Question 1: Identify the relevant table to create a visualization of the changes in rent across provinces and
major cities in Canada. Prepare this data and visualize the 10 CMAs that have seen the highest increase
in rent for two-bedroom apartments between 2019 and 2020. Which province(s) did the CMAs with the
highest growth belong to? Does it make sense to describe Halifax as an outlier?
2. WHERE ARE HALIFAX’S AFFORDABLE APARTMENTS?
Though it can be insightful to compare prices between cities, it can also be helpful to identify opportunities
within the city. After all, there can be radical differences in prices between city regions, depending on their
proximity to important venues and desirability. Investigate the rmr-halifax-2020 data to learn more
about differences within the city and consider reading the report for more details about these regions.
Question 2: Identify the table to compare rental prices of apartments for the various regions of Halifax.
Visualize the prices of 1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom and 3 Bedroom + apartments in 2020 for each of the regions
identified in the data set. Which region is the most expensive? Based on your personal knowledge or what
you can find about the geography of Halifax, why do you think this region is the most expensive?