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Oklahoma tornadoes: April housing statistics are gone with the wind

Housing was humming in the Oklahoma City metro area even before May's tornadoes. As people snatch up available houses from an already tight supply, sales and construction numbers have nowhere to go but up, according to Realtors and builders.
BY RICHARD MIZE richardmize@opubco.com Modified: June 3, 2013 at 7:11 pm •  Published: June 4, 2013
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April's housing statistics were outdated before the debris settled May 20, the day that Moore and south Oklahoma City got hit again by a massive twister.

Homebuilding was humming even before some 1,200 houses were destroyed and thousands more damaged. Friday's tornadoes caused even more damage to the housing stock.

Construction, based on the number of building permits issued, already was up 14.4 percent through April, compared with the same period in 2012, in Oklahoma City, Midwest City, Edmond, Moore and Norman, according to the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association.

Home sales across the metro area were up 13.7 percent in April compared with April last year, according to the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors.

The numbers have nowhere to go but up in the wake of tornadoes that have left large swathes of the metro area staggering.

‘Lost housing stock'

“We're right at strong, double-digit growth, and that's before the tornadoes,” said Mustang developer Robert Crout, president of the builders association. Now, he said, “We have lost housing stock.”

Insurance settlements already have checks in some people's hands — and some buyers already under contract for replacement houses. Before long, anything comparable to what was lost will be snatched up, he said.

“People are looking for a place to live right now,” Crout said. “They'll be sopping up the inventory all over town. They're just going to sop up that inventory.”

Southwest Showcase

The Southwest Showcase of Homes couldn't have been timed any better, it turns out. The event, organized by the Moore Home Builders Association and Southwest Home Builders Association, has 29 new homes open free to the public from 1 to 7 p.m. through Sunday. None sustained damage.

The Southwest association's project home is by Huffman Construction at 3509 SW 126 Terrace in Oklahoma City's Rockport addition, southeast of SW 119 and Portland Avenue.

The Moore association's project home is by R&R Homes LLC at 1105 Dayton Lane in Moore's Rock Creek addition, off SE 4 between Bryant Avenue and Sunnylane Road.

Home shoppers, including people who lost homes in the storms, have been out looking at the showcase homes, said developer P.B. Odom III, a life director with the Southwest association. Information and locations of the other homes are available at the two project homes.

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People are looking for a place to live right now. They'll be sopping up the inventory all over town. They're just going to sop up that inventory.”

Robert Crout,
President of the builders

association

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