Robbins SCE Research
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Best Places to live in Greater Vancouver
  Feb 16, 2007

This is a poll of 650 homeowners throughout the lower mainland of British Columbia conducted between January 23 and February 10, 2007. "Liveability" is based on these types of criteria: amenities in the region, real estate prices, cost of living, restaurants, convenience, transportation, community planning, liklihood of staying in the region, public safety, government (taxes),

Commentary
#1-Port Moody/Anmore/Belcarra 6,500 +< 7,000 pts.
#2- White Rock 6,000 +< 6,500 pts.
#3- West Vancouver 5,500 +< 6,000 pts.
#4- Port Coquitlam 5,000 +<5,500 pts.
#5- Richmond 5,000 +< 5,500 pts.
#6- Coquitlam 5,000 +< 5,500
#7- Surrey 5,000+< 5,550 pts.
#8- Langley 4,500 +< 5,000 pts.
#9- North Vancouver 4,500 +< 5,000
#10- New Westminster 4,500 +< 5,000
#11- Vancouver City 4,500 +< 5,000
#12- Burnaby 4,500 +< 5,000
Commentary-
Port Moody/Anmore/Belcarra This area of the lower mainland is ROBBINS ranked #1. Homeowners in this survey were on average the oldest (49) and were more likely to have committed to staying the region. Anmore Belcarra could probably use a coffee bistro or Starbucks of their own, but if you are willing to pay 1 to 1.5 million for your home without a guarantee of street lights or finished roads, there must be something to like. Port Moody is a meca of new retirement with tremendous old city charm, and modern living accommodations, Port Moody/Anmore/Belcarra has 'it' all going for it. Despite some contention over transportation issues for this region, residents have one of the highest rates of self-employed/lower rates of travel to and from work with help to ameliorate the aforementioned problems at least in the minds of respondents.
White Rock- Like PM/Anmore/Belcarra, White Rock has water, beaches in fact. High end homes aren't cheap here but residents don't care, they have it all. Homeowners in this poll are more inclined to be working nearer to home.
West Vancouver- The average age of our homeowners in West Vancouver was lower than we had expected (47). This could be because many respondents who we suspected were older did not want to take our survey which may have skewed the age, or perhaps there are more younger people with the kind of income which can afford the prices of these homes. West Vancouver has it all, the ocean, nearness to Whistler, and downtown Vancouver.
Port Coquitlam- This area of the northeast sector has 'snuck up' on everyone as a top place to live in the Greater Vancouver region. A well organized city hall, quaint small town feel in the city centre, lots of amenities, good schools, and reasonably affordable housing makes Port Coquitlam a desirable destination for homeowners.
Richmond Tsawwassen- Richmond Tsawwassen has it all, amenities galore, wonderful shopping, (fairly) reasonable real estate prices (for Vancouver), close to the ocean, a major airport and now rapid transit.
Coquitlam- Coquitlam is really a fabulous place to live with excellent shopping and amenities. close to Port Moody/Belcarra/Anmore beaches and the ocean, there are all types of styles of accommodation from million dollar homes to real cool areas of older homes. Plenty of parks and recreation, Coquitlam is on the move.
Surrey- Canada's largest municipality (area) Surrey has really come a long way in the past few years. Great parks, art and an interesting mixture of culture, it has everything anyone would want and reasonable prices. Travel over the bridge(s) brings Surrey's ranking down somewhat (as it does other cities and municipalities with greater dependence on bridge travel).
Langley- this is a fabulous place to live with plenty of amenities, great sports and recreation (tremendous support in the community). Langley Township responses ranked as high as an area in the region and anyone who has been there would be able to understand why the residents love it so much. Transportation development will make Langley the place to live in the coming years.
North Vancouver- This has got to be the place of all places to live. It isn't easy to buy a home here, and many of our respondents were younger with a good average income (home) but not as high as its sister city West Vancouver. The bridges can be frustrating for residents here who appear to travel these almost as frequently as the folks in Surrey.
New Westminster- Imagine being able to purchase a penthouse condominium on the water in Greater Vancouver for under $500,000. New Westminster really has it going on if you like a mixture of old, and funky. You can lease business space for unbelievable rates, and purchase an older beautiful home for an excellent price. For my money the best real estate values in the lower mainland are in New Westminster.
Vancouver- Vancouver is a fabulous city. Great restaurants, the ocean, Kitsilano, Stanley Park, everything you can imagine is right here, but it isn't cheap and prices aren't going to go down. Vancouver's rankings for public safety, policing and transportation (fears about transportation elsewhere as well) have brought down the overall score for Vancouver.
Burnaby- Burnaby has amazing parks and the people living here are quite happy to pay their taxes to ensure the city remains one of the most beautiful in the region. Complaints ranged mostly about transportation and creeping undesirables in some traditional areas such as the heights, but particularly in south Burnaby.

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