Speaker Profile: Ryan Berlin

Economist, Demographer, & Director at Urban Futures

Ryan provides expert insight into established and emerging economic, demographic, and real estate trends. Key questions addressed in his presentations include: Is housing affordable? Are the baby boomers going to sink our health care system and economy? What role do BC's resource regions play within the provincial economy? As a leading researcher in BC's Lower Mainland, Ryan answers these questions —and many more— as part of this presentations and assesses their implications for government and businesses.

He holds a BA (Honours) in Economics from Queen’s University and an MA in Economics from the University of British Columbia (UBC). During his time at UBC, Berlin developed and taught courses on both micro- and macro-economics.


Trends in Housing and Affordability in Canada

There is much discussion about how unaffordable housing is in many regions across Canada, especially British Columbia. As the research leader in housing market and economic analysis at Urban Futures, Berlin provides a unique perspective on how we define, measure, and deal with housing affordability issues. Through an evidence-based approach, Berlin shows that there is a sound economic underpinning to the housing market and that over the longer-term the outlook for housing activity is robust. He also demonstrates that current affordability measures do not represent the reality of housing transactions, as they do not consider the dominant role that equity plays in market pricing nor do they consider the distribution of prices and buyers in sub-markets. Berlin explores the future potential for housing markets through an expert analysis of demographic change and where it will take us in the coming decades. This presentation can be customized for a range of housing market segments and regions.

Rural Regions: Changing Economics and Demographics

No business, community, or government will effectively navigate the coming decades without first acknowledging the ways in which our population—variously serving as a consumer base, tax base, and workforce—is changing. This is particularly true in Canada's more rural regions, where demographic change has largely been characterized by the outward mobility of young, labour force-ready migrants and the dramatic aging of the existing resident population. In this demographic context, economic growth—required to pay for the changing needs of our rural communities—will increasingly rely on innovation and productivity gains achieved through more effective workforce management, knowledge transfer, investment, and tax policies. This presentation explores the relationship between demographic change and economic growth, and how communities can work towards achieving more with less.

Demographics and Our Future

The aging of the baby boom generation, and of Canada's population as a whole, is impacting labour force participation, consumer spending patterns, residential mortgage activity, health care, and countless other dimensions of our society. Perhaps most importantly, the aging of our population could begin to significantly impact our ability to generate the resources required to pay for life's necessities such as health care, housing, and hockey tickets in the coming years. In emphasizing the drivers to future demographic change, the ways in which these factors will impact communities and businesses, both big and small, and strategies through which we can manage these changes, this presentation can be customized to meet the needs of large corporations, SMEs, community economic development groups, real estate industry groups, and municipal and regional organizations