Downtown Fort Worth Condo MLS Statistics are Deceptive

Posted by Stiles Mund Group on Monday, February 18th, 2008 at 1:51pm.

Each month thousands of Realtors in the D/FW metroplex flock to their computers to pull the latest MLS statistics for their effective service area. Many rely heavily on the North Texas Real Estate Information System Multiple Listing Service (NTREIS MLS) to determine how they will position homes for sale in the market and how they will council their buyers when it is time to write an offer.

The extreme fluctuations in the projected months of inventory graph 
shown above depict the unreliability of MLS information.

Historically, this has been the source for credible information and the source of their/our *cough* power. Currently the public cannot view specific homes sales statistics without asking for the assistance of a REALTOR in the form of a “market analysis.”
Why do I state that the Fort Worth MLS is deceptive? Because it is deceptive if you are considering the downtown Fort Worth market. Downtown Fort Worth condos and lofts are in their infancy, and although there are over 25 developments selling, pre-selling and re-selling, there are only a handful of developments influencing MLS statistics.

For instance:
At the time I wrote this there were approximately 100 condos/townhomes listed for sale in NTREIS MLS in downtown Fort Worth.
·         The Tower has 35 units re-selling and listed in MLS or 35% of the market in MLS downtown (Does that ever influence the perception of the downtown market!)
·         The historic Texas and Pacific Lofts have 22 listings “active” in MLS or 22%  of the downtown MLS market
Therefore any market statistics gathered from MLS are heavily impacted by these two properties (57% of the market.) Not entirely a good indication of the health of the market as a whole.

So how do we obtain information outside of MLS? We get on the phone and hit the streets to find out what is selling. Which is just what I do continually. Here are some of my more substantial, recent findings:
  • Montgomery Plaza on West Seventh Street has sold 156 units of their 246 or a little over 63%.
  • Villa De Leon on the Trinity Bluff has sold 4 units of 24 or 16%.
  • So7’s Arthouse Condos on West Seventh Street has sold 8 units and has reservations on 11 (35% spoken for.)
  • The Residences at 1301 Throckmorton - The Omni have 24 units spoken for out of 89 or 27%
 How does MLS have only 100 units listed when there are hundreds more under development and currently for sale? A few reasons. First many developers, if they are smart, do not list everything in MLS. If you have 2 homes to choose from rather than 20 is it easier for you to commit to buy one of the two? Sure. Second, many developers hire sales teams of unlicensed agents who are selling on-site and are not required to record their sales data in MLS.
The moral to this story is probably much what you would expect from a REALTOR specializing in downtown. If you are going to buy downtown in the near future, do your homework, and hire a REALTOR who knows the market, knows what questions to ask and how to negotiate with a developer and their staff. In case you are wondering, YES the seller does still generally pay the buyers agent’s fees. So you have nothing to lose from hiring an agent and a great deal to gain. I would love for you to hire me.
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