The May 20 tornado hit Moore's July construction stats broadside.
Builders in Moore took out permits to build 110 single-family homes last month, a 547 percent increase over July 2012.
It was an explosion, but not a surprise for the second full month after an EF5 tornado swept away some 800 houses, plus another 400 or so just west in south Oklahoma City.
Construction continued strong across the metro area.
Year-to-date permits were up 110.6 percent in Moore, up 15.4 percent in Oklahoma City, and up 17 percent in Edmond, flat in Norman and down 6.3 percent in Midwest City, according to the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association.
Across Oklahoma City and those suburbs, permits were up 18.1 percent.
Moore will be extra busy for months, said Marvin Haworth of Marvin Haworth Homes.
‘Hectic as ever'
“Things are as hectic as ever. The building business is going very strong,” he said. “I don't think we're at the peak of it. It might last into the first of next year, through February. There are still a lot of people sitting on the sidelines,” wondering whether to rebuild on their tornado lots or to buy and build elsewhere.
Not all the July permits, however, represent a replacement home, Haworth said. He estimated that 70 to 80 of the 110 permits were for rebuilds, with the remainder coming from construction not resulting from the tornado. The new Sendera Lakes addition by developer David Odom, he said, is especially active at SW 34 and Santa Fe Avenue, he said.
Odom developed Sendera Lakes and is selling lots to seven select builders. He said the first homes started predated the tornado, but that now tornado victims are looking and buying in the 100-acre addition, which will have seven phases, including a clubhouse, pool and commercial development.
Single-family permits aren't the only thing selling like there's no tomorrow: Storm shelter permits, to help ensure there is a tomorrow after the next tornado, are more popular than ever. Haworth said some 750 permits for shelters were issued through July, compared to around 200 for all of 2012.
“We had a lot of storm shelters after (the massive tornado in May) '99. I think this has alerted people that F5s can come again,” he said.