New Data Unveils Resident Sentiment Toward Potential Housing Solutions and Other Community Issues

A majority of residents from London and St. Thomas support converting vacant downtown buildings into rental housing, according to a new report by Nanos Research on behalf of the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR). The report also found a majority of residents in St. Thomas believe the new Volkswagen plant will have a positive impact on the local economy.

“The findings affirm that housing is one of the top issues that matter to residents across the region,” said Adam Miller, LSTAR 2023 Chair. “In fact, both London and St. Thomas residents rank homelessness and housing affordability as the two biggest issues of community concern.”

When presented with solutions to the housing crisis, most residents of London and St. Thomas have positive impressions of rent-to-own housing and would consider a rent-to-own agreement.

“The data may assist our municipalities in further discussion and development of housing solutions,” said Bill Madder, LSTAR CEO. “It is critical for all levels of government to work together to find ways of boosting housing supply, to ensure a multitude of options across the housing spectrum are attainable.”

Turning to the economy, 67% of St. Thomas residents feel municipal leaders do a good or very good job of helping attract jobs to St. Thomas, up 25 percentage points compared to a 2021 report. In London, almost one in three residents say municipal leaders do a good or very good job in this area.

Residents in both cities also indicated the need for municipalities to do more in improving infrastructure and roadways, as well as enhancing public transit. 

“London and St. Thomas received the highest marks as a place to raise a family and the quality of healthcare,” Miller said. “Those are just two qualities that make this region of southwestern Ontario a very attractive place to live and call home.”

It is the third time since 2019 that Nanos Research has studied these topics with London residents. This is the second time ratings from St. Thomas residents have been included, with the inaugural findings published in 2021. The 2023 report contains respective year-over-year comparisons in all quality of life categories. 

For full survey results, visit Nanos Research.

About the Survey

The results are based on a random telephone (landline and mobile) survey of 411 residents of the City of London and 306 residents of the City of St. Thomas, 18 years of age or older, conducted between August 2 and 5, 2023. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and administered a survey. The margin of error for a random survey of 411 residents of London is ±4.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20 and the margin of error for a random survey of 306 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. Our reach is global and we 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.