Four Years After EF-5 Tornado, Joplin, MO, Sees Increase in New Home Constructions

Nearly four years after an EF-5 tornado left 158 dead, more than 900 injured, and thousands without homes, Joplin, MO, is seeing an increase in new home constructions as of the month of March, according to city building permits.

In March alone, the city issued 81 permits for all types of constructions. Twenty-six of those were for homes, for a total value of $2.5 million.

Individually, houses ranged in value anywhere from $50,000 to $300,000.

Since the beginning of Joplin’s fiscal year, which started Nov. 1, 2014, 93 permits for new homes have been issued. The average value for the homes, not including the value of the land, is $101,000.

The small city was devastated and saw severe damage to apartment buildings, businesses, schools, and St. John’s Medical Center. But the new constructions indicate that the city and its residents are bouncing back — 21 of those homes will be built in Joplin’s tornado zone.

According to surveys, more than 45% of Americans indicate a preference to live within specific school district boundaries. Some of those in Joplin who are working with a home builder may be choosing to return to areas where their children had grown up or attended school before the tornado.

Other areas to the south have also had a long road ahead recovering from natural disasters.

In Jackson County, MS, the new constructions for housing have been on the upswing in recent month as the coastal area still continues to rebound from Hurricane Katrina a decade later.

As for Joplin, there have been an average of 17 permits for new homes filed each month for the past two years, with 18 per month on average so far this fiscal year.

That growth means good things for the area’s economy, as more people spend money on furniture, appliances, garden equipment, and other home goods.

The total value of all permits for the fiscal year so far, which will end on Halloween, is just over $42 million.

Ninety-three total new home construction permits have been issued since Nov. 1, according to city records.

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