With ups and downs in the number of new housing builds on the Burin Peninsula, one local contractor hopes economic development in the region will help boost the industry.
Numbers from Marystown show between 2016 and 2018, 27 applications for new home builds, plus two additional applications for duplexes.
“Work is pretty slow here,” said Ernest Lockyer, owner of Ernest’s Property Restoration.
He added that with the development of the aquaculture project by Grieg, he had hoped it would mean increased opportunity for the construction industry.
“It doesn’t look like there is much of a spin-off coming from that yet…”
Lockyer said he has even had conversations with staff at local building supply stores who have also noticed a decrease in supplies for new builds.
Lockyer explained his primary source of work comes from renovations and even those are down this year.
“The biggest I’m after getting calls, for now, is a few people looking at getting their roofs re-shingled and stuff.”
While in the past Lockyer said people would typically have renovations done on their homes during the summer months, he would usually already have inquiries from people looking for information.
“It doesn’t look good for the Burin Peninsula, not yet,” said Lockyer. “I don’t know if things will soon pick up.”
Lockyer added that with the increase in people leaving the region, there is no shortage of available housing.
“People can go buy a house now a lot cheaper… than they can build one.”
Darlene Bennett, a real estate agent for 3 % Reality on the Burin Peninsula said over the last number of years she has seen an increase in home sales under $200,000.
“I’m not sure if it has anything to do with things that are announced in regard to the economy as (it does) that plan that was introduced for first-time home buyers,” she explained.
“That sort of piqued some people’s interest and then, whether they qualified or not, they still proceeded to try and get financing, and it was all lower-priced homes.”
New build applications
2016 - 7
2017 - 11
2018- 9 + 2 Duplexes
2018- 4 +3 Seniors Duplexes