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Best Places to Live in Greater Vancouver (III) - Survey of city and municipal satisfaction levels
Sullivan Street - Counting Crows  Aug 05, 2013

This is our third ROBBINS Sce Research (est. 1998) survey of BEST PLACES TO LIVE IN GREATER VANCOUVER (III). This survey represents interviews with 3,243 homeowners throughout Greater Vancouver - and establishes a true and independent opinion from city and municipal property owners on their level of satisfaction with a variety of criteria relevant to the place they reside in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia
In our (II) ROBBINS BEST PLACES - conducted in July 2008 cities were ranked as follows: 1. West Vancouver; 2. White Rock; 3. Richmond; 4. North Vancouver; 5. Burnaby; 6. Port Moody; 7. Surrey; 8. New Westminster; 9. Port Coquitlam; 10. Coquitlam; 11. Langley; 12. Vancouver (city)
This survey of ROBBINS BEST PLACES TO LIVE IN GREATER VANCOUVER - provides readers with the definitive opinion of homeowners throughout the Lower Mainland on such "Livability" criteria as (a) amenities in the region; (b) real estate prices and property taxes;(c) services from government and value for tax dollar; (d) cost of living; (e) restaurants and entertainment; (f) recreational facilities and parking; travel - transportation - community planning; (g) likelihood of staying the region/other; (h) government policy - policing - public safety.
Homeowners were told to provide a score as a percentage with the lowest percentage being 40% and the highest 100%. These scores were tallied from each respondent in each city municipality in a number of categories, and these outcomes were then averaged. Respondents were then asked to provide their level of overall satisfaction with their municipal or city government between 0% and 100%. This outcome was then averaged with the outcome from the list of criteria previously determined to provide a final score.
We provide two sets of results. The first set is a set of regional locations and their related scores. For instance Burnaby-New Westminster or Langley Township and Langley City. Our BEST PLACE TO LIVE IN GREATER VANCOUVER - perennial All-Star White Rock was coupled with its neighbour South Surrey - two relatively expenses to live - but where residents are happy - happy -. In this ROBBINS survey Delta (Ladner Tsawwassen) was included with Richmond.
Thereafter all municipal city contestants were listed from 1st place and onward.
We congratulate White Rock British Columbia - after two 2nd place finishes in ROBBINS BEST PLACES TO LIVE IN GREATER VANCOUVER - the city on the beach - comes in at NUMBER 1 - with an unheard of 80% satisfaction score.
Here then are the BEST PLACES TO LIVE IN GREATER VANCOUVER:
1. White Rock (80) - South Surrey (79) - According to Super Natural British Columbia "White Rock is "now a bona fide cultural and dining destination, rocking into high gear during the summer, but visitors can expect something to see, taste and do, year round." "The beach is White Rock's biggest draw whether it's for family picnic's, sandcastle competitions or kayaking excursions."
"There are many attractions in White Rock including a vibrant nightlife an a Casino with plenty of shopping opportunities to satisfy all kinds of shopping tastes." The average price of a detached home in White Rock is $850,000; Townhouse $460,000; and Apartment/Condo $250,000
South Surrey - next to White Rock is the "high end community of Surrey." "There are homes for sale in different neighbourhoods such as Morgan Creek Elgin Chartrell, Ocean Park, Crescent Beach - the King George corridor and new areas of the Grandview Corners and Pacific Douglas." The average price of a detached home is just less than $1,000,000.
Overall, an 80% homeowner satisfaction rate in White Rock - South Surrey - an incredible score. In our ROBBINS Best Places to Live in Greater Vancouver (I) and (II) in 2007 and 2008 White Rock was a stand alone candidate coming in at 2nd place. Next door neighbours - these homeowners are some seriously happy campers in homes that average $1,000,000 a 'pop'.
2. Langley Township (78)-Langley City (74)-According to Tourism Langley the 10 top reasons for visiting Langley include: (1) Birthplace of British Columbia - celebrated with the historic Village of Fort Langley "where the heart of local heritage is reflected in the quaint architecture of its turn-of-the-century streets lined with unique boutiques and savory eateries; (2) Langley is home to a "multitude of productive working farms that produce and distribute popular farm fresh products"; (3) "In Langley the arts are alive - there are galleries galore showcasing beautiful handmade jewelry, canvases of acrylics, oils and water colours - potteries and more.."; (4) SHOP 'TIL YOU DROP' - "Langley has shopping for every type of shopper. Offering the largest square footage in commercial retail outside of Vancouver---loaded with hidden treasures..."
According to Wikipedia the Township of Langley "is a distinct municipality immediately east of the City of Surrey in southwestern British Columbia." In the Langley Times February 8, 2012 reporter Frank Bucholtz reported the population of Langley Township at 105,000 with the population of Langley City at 25,000. What makes Langley so incredible is the amazing prices in real estate. A detached home can be purchased for $500,000 a townhouse for $300,000 + and an apartment-condo 175-250 K.
Langley Township - Langley City has jumped to second place after an 8th place finish in 2007 and 11th in 2008. The new Port Mann bridge joins the lower mainland to Surrey and the Fraser Valley - and the quick drive from Burnaby to Langley makes these real estate prices in Langley - a 'gift'.
3. Whistler (79)-Super Natural British Columbia website describes Whistler BC as being regulary featured on "Best of" lists all over the World. whistler is second to none around the globe for skiing - boarding - hotels, restuarants, and golf courses. "Blending the charm of an alpine village with the amenities of an urban centre, the pedestianized Whistler Village offers (the best) in fine dining, vibrant nightlife, eclectic boutiques, revitalization spas and luxurous hotels." "Whistler is great for families too - it was chosen #2 out of the Top 10 Family Vacations across Canada in the Travel Choice 2011 Best Family Vacations - and is host to events like the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival each April and Cornucopia: Whistler's Wine and Food celebration held every November. Average home prices are near one million $$ - for the home of the 2010 Winter Olympics - with Townhouses at $450,000 and apartments at $250,000.
West Vancouver (77)-The largest age demographic in this lifestyle of the rich --- is 45-60 in West Vancouver with women occupying 20% more of that age group. The highest percentage of occupation is business (22%) and management (21%). Median earnings in West Vancouver is over $60,000 with that average $42,230 throughout the Province of British columbia and $34,000 across Canada. West Vancouver is the either the wealthiest municipality in the region or near the top of that category. Beautiful oceans and plenty of money. According to Wikipedia Cypress Provincial Park - was one of the venues for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games (in Whistler - just up the street) and was named the cultural capital of Canada in 2006. The average price of a home here is around $2,000,000 (correct - 2 million).
North Shore (73) Right next to West Vancouver is the North Shore region - where over half of its residents have a University education - or high end trade or better. Much of the population here is also professional - including Business and Management - Arts and Culture on the North Shore are outstanding. The average price of a home on the North Shore is a little more reasonable than West Vancouver -- at just under $1,000,000 (1 million).
To own a home in West Vancouver or the North Shore - you need a few bucks - or a high paying job, but if you visit these locations you will understand why. Anyone who visits Ambleside Beach or visits the areas around the North Shore will WANT to move here - its paradise - but it will cost.
4. TriCity (includes Coquitlam (74), Port Moody (76), Port Coquitlam (70))-The smallest of the 3 municipalities in the TriCity region is Port Moody with a population of just under 35,000 "located at the head of the Burrard Inlet just 40 minutes from downtown Vancouver City. A detached home can be purchased here for under $900,000 with Townhouses around $400,000 and Condos in the $300,000 region. The shopping and restaurants in the area out simply outstanding---from the Boathouse restaurant on the water to Browns in the Newport Village complex as well as a number of terrific sushi restaurants.
Coquitlam is the largest city in the TriCity region with a population heading toward 150,000. The city has a powerful multicultural flavour with many Asian - Persian and other ethnic personalities gracing the rosters of home ownership in the region. A strong French connection has dwindled of late - but the city is booming - and beautiful including many parks - different looks and an amazing Town Centre. The average price of a home in this area is around $725,000 - a relative steal at that price.
Port Coquitlam - a city of some 45,000 persons has always been a quaint - and is probably best described as "an outstanding community feel - and affordable to boot." Just down the road from Port Moody where homes are nearly a million dollars on average - a detached home can be purchased in Port Coquitlam for -- wait -- wait $550,000 - with average condo prices just over $200,000.
The Tri-City is an exceptional place to live. There are large suburban homes - suburban ranches - beautiful high rise condos - beach - parks - and amenities galore. In our 2007 Best Cities Port Moody was 1st in 07, 6th in 2008 - while Coquitlam was 6th in '07 and 10th in '08. Port Coquitlam was 4th in '07 and 9th in '08. The Tri City is on the move up - and looking good. The construction and completion of the Evergreen Line to Douglas College will add to these real estate prices - making Tri-City one of the best regions in Greater Vancouver to purchase a home.
5. Burnaby (73) New Westminster (72)- This from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver on Burnaby "Having first served as a rural agriculture area supplying nearby markets, Burnaby is now a maturing, increasingly integrated community - centrally located within a rapidly growing metropolitan area." "Burnaby features high density residential areas, major town centres, rapid transit, high technology - research and business parks, comprehensive industrial sectors and post secondary eduation including the mountain top campus of Simon Fraser University. The average price of a home in Burnaby is $920,000 - with Burnaby North $920 K - Burnaby South parked around $1 million and Burnaby East at $750,000. According to Wikipedia "New Westminster was founded as the Capital of the Colony of British Columbia and continued in that capacity until 1866."
New Westminister is rebuilding its downtown core and boasts bridal shops galore -. Some of the residential sections like Queens Park are breathtaking featuring older homes on large estates - on large private streets. A condo can be bought in downtown New Westminster on the waterfront next to one of my favourite Keg restaurants - for less than $500,000. Have a look (and bring your cheque book). Average price for a detached home is $660,000 - and only $270,00 for a condo.
6. Richmond (73) Delta (70)- The City of Richmond describes itself as "the most appealing..well managed community in Canada. The city Overview describes Richmond as a culturally diverse and geographically unique community." "A recent venue City of the 2010 Winter Games Richmond has been experiencing growth and change with remarkable speed, transferring from a rural, local community to an International city with a balance of urban, sub-urban family and rural areas." Richmond is next door to the Vancouver International Airport and the BC Ferry Terminal. The Real Estate Board of Vancouver Home Price Index reflects the average cost of a home in Richmond at $950,000 with Townhouses at $500,000 and apartments at $350,000. Delta is listed as Corporation - right next door to Richmond - its population is around 100,000 encompassing Ladner and Tsawwassen - Delta "prides itself on its past and growing sustainability. Delta has a hospital, airport, libraries, sports and recreational facilities. Delta boasts an average per capita income 30% higher than the Canadian average. The average price of a detached home in Delta according to the Home Price Index is $615,000 - average Townhouse $450,000 and apartment $320,000.
7. Vancouver (71) (City)-According to Wikipedia - "Vancouver City is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia with a population of over 600,000 people." "Vancouver is the most densely populated city in Canada and is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada - 52% of its residents do no speak English as their first language." "For over a decade business magazine assessments have ranked Vancouver as one of the most liveable cities worldwide. The Economic Intelligence Unit an independent business with the Economist Group - a multinational media company acknowledges Vancouver as the first city to rank among the top ten of the world's most liveable cities for five consecutive years." Vancouver has two distinct sides - East and west - the Home Price Index determines the average cost of detached home in West Vancouver to be $2,100,000 - with Townhouses at $706,000 and condos at nearly $500,000 on average. The more affordable East side offers detached homes at average $850,000 - Townhouses at $520,000 and condos at $300,000.
8. Surrey (69)-Super Natural British Columbia describes Surrey, British Columbia as being "situated 35 minutes southeast of Vancouver (City) and directly north of the U.S. border", Surrey has nearly reached one half million in population - attracts visitors with its "seamless mix of abundant greenery and urban amenities." "From beautiful parks to big box shopping - art galleries to golf courses and spectator sports such as hockey and rodeo." The average price of a detached home in Surrey is $580,000 - a townhouse will average $320,000 and apartment $210,000.

Commentary
ROBBINS - BEST PLACES TO LIVE IN GREATER VANCOUVER in order of placement from 1st place
1. White Rock (80% overall satisfaction)
2. South Surrey (79%)
3. Whistler (79%)
4. Langley Township (78%)
5. West Vancouver (77%)
6. Port Moody (76%)
7. Coquitlam (74%)
8. Langley City (74%)
9. North Shore Vancouver (73%)
10. Burnaby (73%)
11. Richmond (73%)
12. New Westminster (72%)
13. Delta (70%)
14. Port Coquitlam (70%)
15. Surrey (excluding S. Surrey) (69%)

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