New Research Uncovers the Top Issues that Matter to London and St. Thomas Residents

Residents rate their cities in key areas, including quality of life, housing affordability and the municipal response to COVID-19

London, ON – Residents of London and St. Thomas give high marks to their cities for healthcare, raising a family and overall quality of life, according to a new report by Nanos Research on behalf of the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR). The report also found residents across the region are concerned about home affordability, while St. Thomas residents feel rail connections between the Railway City and other centres could be better.

"There are many qualities to London and St. Thomas that make this region of Southwestern Ontario a very attractive place to live and call home," said Jack Lane, LSTAR 2021 President. "The Nanos report also highlights opportunities to strengthen the cities, which includes improving infrastructure and roadways, enhancing downtown areas and addressing homelessness."

It is the second time in the past two years that Nanos Research has studied these topics with London residents, with the inaugural report having been published in October 2019. New to this year's report is the inclusion of ratings from St. Thomas residents.

"LSTAR was very interested to engage the community, after what we have all experienced over the past 16 months," said Bill Madder, LSTAR CEO. "There's a lot to take away from the report, understanding what really matters to residents, as the recovery efforts continue from the COVID-19 pandemic."

When it comes to the performance of their municipal leaders, London and St. Thomas residents gave top marks to the municipal response toward the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, residents gave higher ratings to London Mayor Ed Holder and St. Thomas Mayor Joe Preston for their response to the pandemic compared to Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

Residents also indicated the need for municipalities to do more in creating an environment for affordable housing and addressing homelessness. 

"Housing affordability and homelessness were most often ranked as the biggest issues of community concern, along with jobs for local residents," Madder said. "Both London and St. Thomas residents identified increasing the supply of affordable rental units as the most effective solution to housing affordability."

Speaking of housing, 66 per cent of St. Thomas residents believe the value of real estate in their neighbourhood will increase in the next six months. For London, it was 65 per cent, up from 58 per cent in 2019.

“The findings affirm how important housing is to the community, to the economy and to overall growth of the region," Lane said. "With greater demand and low supply, housing and housing affordability will remain top-of-mind for London and St. Thomas, as we get through the pandemic."

For full survey results, visit the Nanos Research web site.

Zoom Screenshot from the Community Voices Online Event

About the Survey

The results are based on a random telephone survey of 403 residents of the City of London and 300 residents of the City of St. Thomas, 18 years of age or older, conducted between April 19 and May 8, 2021. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and administered a survey. The margin of error for a random survey of 403 residents of London is ±4.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20 and the margin of error for a random survey of 300 residents of St. Thomas is ±5.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. 

About Nanos Research

Nanos Research is one of North America’s premier research and strategy organizations. Since its founding in 1987, Nanos Research has helped corporations, government agencies and advocacy associations understand, chart and shape the public mood. Their reach is global and they apply the latest machine learning algorithms for exceptional insight. Today, Canada’s largest private broadcaster depends on Nanos Research as the official pollster of record for CTV News. Similarly, world-renowned Bloomberg News Service chose Nanos to conduct Bloomberg’s weekly Canadian consumer sentiment tracking, known as the Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index. 

About LSTAR           

The London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) exists to provide our REALTOR® Members with the support and tools they need to succeed in their profession. LSTAR is one of Canada’s 10 largest real estate associations, representing over 2,000 REALTORS® working in Middlesex and Elgin Counties, a trading area of 500,000 residents. LSTAR adheres to a Quality of Life philosophy, supporting growth that fosters economic vitality, provides housing opportunities, respects the environment and builds good communities and safe neighbourhoods and is a proud participant in the REALTORS Care Foundation’s Every REALTOR™ Campaign. 

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Media Contact: Chad Lovell, LSTAR VP Public Affairs and Diversity, (226) 972-9299

Click here to see the original News Release.