Petrolia’s building boom stalls

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Petrolia’s pandemic housing boom stalled in 2022.

Building permit figures provided by Lambton County show there were only five building permits issued for new homes in 2022. That compares with 17 in 2021 and 25 in the first year of the pandemic.

County says the five homes built in 2022 were valued at $3 million. That’s an average of about $610,000 each. It’s also a far cry from 2021, when more permits were issued and the cost of housing increased significantly. In 2021, the county says the 17 new homes were valued at $14.8 million.

One of the issues driving the slump is the lack of land ready to develop. In 2021, developer Bob Leaper said all the available lots were now spoken for with few left to be built on. At the time, he was voicing frustration over delays in getting phase four of his Countryview Estates 74-lot subdivision approved. It’s still tied up in appeals.

Since then, one new subdivision is ready for development – Spectra’s Greenwood Acres with 30 lots available.

In all, the county estimates there were 44 building permits worth about $10.2 million in construction in 2022, down from 67 in 2021 with $18.6 million in building and 75 with $19.96 million in value in 2020.