Tulsa County MLS Statistics for 2008, 2009, and July 31, 2010: Effects of the Expired “Housing Tax Credit”; the “Back To School” Trend

If you’re like me, you like to see data, not hear spin. So I did some digging in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system to discover the trends of our market.

My parameters were:

  • Tulsa County
  • House / SFR (Single-Family Residence)
  • List Price of $50,000 – $500,000
  • Closed / Sold / Completed Sales

I chose these parameters because I wanted to study the majority of properties in our region, based on location (county) and price. I chose to filter by List Price instead of Sold Price because when you choose to list your house, you are comparing against List Price, which is in your control. You cannot choose the Sold Price, which may be considerably different from the List Price due to a distressed sale (lower), adding closing costs (higher), or because of the List Price to Sold Price difference that is inherent in the “For Sale” process.

Enough Talk, Let’s See The Numbers

I created this chart on August 7, 2010 (today). Give it a look and then see my commentary following.

Year-over-Year (YoY) Chart of MLS Closings - July 31, 2010 (2010-08-07)

Click for full-size (opens in new window) — UPDATE: As of August 16, 2010, July 2010 showed 369 closings


  1. Not all properties are listed for sale in the MLS system. Some are For Sale By Owner (FSBO); some properties transfer ownership to an inheritor or through foreclosure; some properties are purchased at auctions or in other ways. Keep in mind, however, that the MLS system comprises a large percentage of properties for sale to the public, MLS data is the most reliable and consistent listing data, and the MLS system provides savvy REALTORS® with access to a wealth of information, like the data for the chart above from yours truly.
  2. Generally, properties take 30 to 60 and up to 90 days to close after the time they are under contract. Some close in less than a month; others don’t close for several months. Keep in mind the lag time from contract to close. The chart’s data includes only closed transactions. Thus, if something was listed in January and under contract in February, it might not have closed until April.
  3. The Federal First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit ended April 30, 2010. Those properties under contract as of April 30, 2010, and earlier, need to close by September 30, 2010, in order to remain eligible. Therefore, properties under contract in April might have closed in May and June. By the way, there are quite a few properties from April and earlier still waiting to close, due to lending and funding delays.
  4. 2008 and 2009 show June and July to be the most closed months. 2010’s most closed months were April and May.
  5. The “Back To School” theory seems to be true, with a consistent trend of increasing closings, starting in January and peaking around June or July.
  6. 2009’s September, October, and November numbers were considerably greater than 2008’s due to the expiration of the first round of the Federal First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit on November 30, 2009.
  7. July 2010 looks like it took a nose-dive. First, I’ll remind you of #3’s mention of the tax credit’s expiration. Second, although it’s August 7th already, a few more closings may trickle in if the closings were at the end of the month and someone is late in reporting a closing to MLS or MLS has more processing to do. It is doubtful that the number of closings will increase dramatically.
  8. Currently, there are 3,967 of these properties for sale on MLS. In 2008, there were 6,951 total closings. In 2009, there were 6,813. As of July 31, 2010, there have been 3,551 closings Year-to-Date (YTD), about 12% lower than the average of July 31’s YTD from 2008 and 2009. In other words, you could say there’s approximately 6 months’ worth of properties for sale. That’s not to say every property will take 6 months to sell, but it does point out there is a sizable measure of competition for For Sale houses in this market.

In Conclusion

Review Commentary Item #8.

Recognize the importance (and benefits) of hiring a professional, competent REALTOR® to correctly price your house, effectively market your property in a variety of ways, and confidently assist you in the details, negotiations, and paperwork for your real estate transaction.

If you like what you see–data, professionalism, and technical capabilities–there’s more where this came from…

Contact End Zone Realty to get your house listed or to help you find the right house at the right price!

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