Housing Tides Index™ February 2017

Market Health Decreases in 30 of the Top 41 Local U.S. Markets


Housing Tides Index™ reveals a decline as U.S. housing homebuilding markets weaken slightly with supply shortfall

Feb. 16, 2017, DENVER – This week marks the release of the February Housing Tides Report™, featuring an update to the Housing Tides Index™, an objective and sophisticated approach to quantifying and comparing the health of U.S. housing markets. Analysis of economic indicators comprising the Index reveals that while the national housing market is healthy when viewed in historical context, the shortage of homes for sale continues to present an obstacle.
Understanding the health of a housing market and its relationship to other top markets requires an aggregated, comprehensive view of the industry. The Housing Tides Index provides a succinct monthly measure of market health across the top 41 U.S. markets. Referencing 18 market indicators ranging from unemployment rates and housing permits to rental vacancy and mortgage foreclosure rates, the Tides Index helps users understand exposure at a deeper level than is currently possible.

National Housing Tides Index Summary – February 2017

  • The U.S. housing industry weakened slightly this month as the Housing Tides Index decreased to 72.4 in February from 73.1 in January. The February Index value is down from 73.4 one year ago.
  • The Housing Tides Index values decreased in 30 of the top 41 local markets this month.
  • Much of the decrease in the Index is due to worsening of housing supply, which was already constrained. Nationally, housing inventory fell to 2.9 months of supply in December per latest data from real estate brokerage Redfin.
  • It’s important to recognize that significant geographic differences in housing supply remain; for example, Seattle and San Jose currently have less than one month of supply while Fort Myers and Miami have 5.1 and 6.7 months of supply, respectively.
  • U.S. rent prices increased further in November according to Zillow, with the median list price for a two-bedroom unit rising to $1,635 per month. The U.S. rental vacancy rate rose one-tenth of one percent to 6.9% in Q4 2016 per recent published data from the Census Bureau.
  • Data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency show that effective mortgage rates rose to 3.99% in December after the Federal Reserve decided to hike the target federal funds rate by 0.25 percentage points at the December, 2016 meeting.
  • Homebuilder sentiment improved in December as the NAHB & Wells Fargo Housing Market Index survey of builders rose to a value of 69. This is substantially higher than the neutral Index value of 50 and is the most optimistic reading of homebuilder sentiment since July, 2005.

Housing Tides Index - National, Fe


Highlighting the Ten Healthiest U.S. Housing Markets – February 2017


Click here to view the complete Housing Tides Index of the top 41 U.S. markets.

Media Exclusive! Housing Tides Monthly Pulse.

An email service exclusively created for media that delivers an updated infographic depicting the latest monthly Housing Tides Index, the complete Index as it appears in the Housing Tides Report™, and a brief executive summary. All content can be shared in print and digital publications, with attribution to the Housing Tides Report.
Members of the media can subscribe to the Housing Tides Monthly Pulse here.

About Housing Tides

Housing Tides™ (“Tides”) is the only monthly report that provides a comprehensive measure and aggregated understanding of the health of the U.S. housing and home building industry. Designed to take the guesswork out of the vast amount of forecasting information published about this sector, Tides is a sophisticated report that delivers city-specific, updated information when market conditions change. It is the only report that uses natural language processing and machine learning to correctly understand and synthesize large volumes of data, making it more comprehensive, balanced and reliable than any other report of its kind. More information is available at http://www.housingtides.com.
Housing Tides is proudly partnered with IBM Watson®.

Media Contact:

Hannah Finch


For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/02/prweb14072324.htm

EnergyLogic 2016 Accomplishments

Happy New Year!

Before getting too far down the road, we want to take a moment to thank you for your trust in us, and our work. Thank you for allowing us to help you with your code and program compliance, generation of the HERS Index, and quality assurance needs. We hope your new year is prosperous and successful!

We completed just over 4,600 inspections in 2016. That work is broken out in the table to the right. We are not only proud of our people, we are proud to have worked with our partners through such a successful year. We are thankful for the opportunities our partners, and their teams, have provided by allowing us to collaborate with them in reaching their goals.

As we continue to serve your inspection and quality assurance needs, I want to remind you that we are continuing to grow and innovate to better meet the challenges of our industry. Here are a couple of highlights:

  • We have restructured our company to create field teams, which allows us to have better communication both internally and externally. This ensures that our consistency, accuracy, and professionalism perform at its highest level.
  • We have excitedly expanded our service offerings to include water management inspections to complement our existing quality assurance 3rd party work, warranty inspection to better determine warranty issues and solutions, as well as HVAC design and quality installation services.

Lastly, we are continually growing and training our field staff of Raters to be at the top of their game andto maintain our expanding knowledge base and skill set to continue leading the industry.

Thank you. We look forward to a wonderful 2017!

Robby Schwarz and the EnergyLogic Team


New Home Builder Rebates are increasing, in a good way!

New rebate structure update and highlights of the Xcel Energy ENERGY STAR® New Homes Program 2016 accomplishments.

Total year-end program results from 2016:

  • 5,300 total completed houses
  • 145,835 net Dekatherms and 4,957,801 net kilowatt-hours in energy savings
  • $3,361,890 in builder rebates and energy rater administrative fees
  • 1,800 earned the $100 ENERGY STAR rebate

Program and Rebate Changes for 2017/18, effective for homes submitted after March 1st:

  • Homes will qualify for rebates based on the percent improvement better than the local adopted IECC code
  • Rebate levels are increased for homes built in jurisdictions where IECC 2012 and newer codes are enforced
  • The $10 ENERGY STAR dishwasher rebate is discontinued and the clothes washer rebate is reduced from $50 to $30
  • The High Efficiency Lighting rebate is unchanged for homes built in jurisdictions where IECC 2009 and older codes are enforced
  • For homes built in jurisdictions where IECC 2012 and newer codes are enforced, a $10 rebate is available if 100% of lighting is CFL or LED fixtures and/or bulbs
Percent Better Than Local Code Improvement Builder Rebate – IECC 2009 and older Builder Rebate – IECC 2012 and newer
10.0 – 14.999% $200 $250
15.0 – 19.999% $350 $400
20.0 – 24.999% $500 $600
25.0 – 29.999% $650 $900
30.0 – 34.999% $800 $1,300
35.0 – 39.999% $1,000 $2,000
40% and higher $1,400 $2,550


Appliance/Lamp Builder Rebate – IECC 2009 & older Builder Rebate – IECC 2012 & newer
Refrigerator $10 $10
Clothes Washer $30 $30
Lighting Efficiency (CFL or LED) $20 (20+ qualifying bulbs) $10 (100% qualifying bulbs)
ENERGY STAR®, Xcel Gas & Electric $100 $100

Tracy Larson


Who to Contact:

Tracy Larson
Logistics/Customer Support Supervisor

Email Tracy

Claiming the $2,000 Federal Tax Credit for 2016

EnergyLogic assesses compliance with the Federal tax credit for every home that we inspect. In addition, we provide a tax credit compliance report that is signed for every home that is tested.208-9x463-2artboard-1800x1200

Over the past several years EnergyLogic has had to reissue these tax credit documents due to software updates that have also changed the physical look and content of the document.  Due to the need to reissue the reports, we were able to issue new passing tax credit certificates and lump them together for your convenience. The reports were typically sent in an email at the beginning of the year or a builder login was issued directing you to pull these reports from our DASH data system.

For 2016 homes, EnergyLogic will not need to re-run tax credit certificates or make any adjustments to the certificates you have already received. Therefore, builders will not be receiving an email containing all passing tax credits. EnergyLogic has already emailed all final report packets to you at the time the home has been rated and certified. Within those final report packets, you will find the tax credit certificate. It clearly states on the tax credit certificate if the home passes or not.  In addition, the tax certificate is signed only for the homes that pass.

Link to Sample Tax Credit Report

Builder Login for EnergyLogic’s DASH database
You can also access these final report packets using your builder login to EnergyLogic’s DASH database. Contact Tracy Larson at tracy@nrglogic.com if you need directions, username and password for the DASH builder login.  Tracy will be sending you a spreadsheet in the next few weeks that lists all homes that qualified for the tax credit which will narrow down the list of packets you’ll need to locate and make your search easier.

Link to document on how to search and locate tax credit documents packets in DASH

The Federal tax credit expired on January 1st, 2017.  As in the past, Energylogic will continue to issue tax credit certificates for all homes that we inspect. We will do this because historically every time the tax credit has expired it has been re-authorized and made effective retroactively to the date it expired.  For example, on January 1st, 2015 the tax credit expired. In December of 2015. the tax credit was re-authorized to be effective from January 1st, 2015 through December 31st, 2016.  The only way we can be sure that your homes will be able to get the credit if the tax credit is re-authorized is to keep track of whether they pass or not at the time of the final inspection.  We strongly recommend that your office file the tax credit certificates for those homes that pass and are signed off on, so you are prepared to file for your credit if and when re-authorization occurs.

At this time, because nobody knows if re-authorization will occur, EnergyLogic does not recommend changing your building specification to optimize for the tax credit.

Additional information regarding the rebate structure and requirements is located on our website.

Robby Schwarz


Who to Contact:

Robby Schwarz
Principal, Director of Builder Relations

Email Robby

Important RESNET® Amendment on Rating Software Changes (Persistence)

RESNET Adopts Standard Amendment on Persistence of the Use of Previous Versions of HERS Software When Standards Change

The latest release of Rating software, represented by the new ANSI/RESNET/ICC 301-2014, has dramatically demonstrated an issue that has been apparent for quite some time. To further expand on how various software versions impact changes to HERS Index scores, and how the recently adopted amendment, effective February 16, 2017, applies, please review the following:

  • When standards and software are updated, the HERS Index score can change.  In the case of ANSI/RESNET/ICC 301-2014 the score change is dramatic.
  • As the HERS Index continues to grow in our national vocabulary, consistency of the scoring system becomes increasingly important.

As the standards are currently written, homes in a community with a buildout of twenty years can use old software because software does not have to be updated due to the notion of “Persistence”. If left open to interpretation, one Projected Rating could be applied to multiple building permits in production housing, allowing “Persistence” based on a Projected Rating to extend the use of older software versions to 5, 10, or even 20 years.

After the RESNET Standard Public Review and Comment process, the RESNET Standards Management Board has adopted Amendment #2017-01.

  • The amendment requires that “Confirmed or Sampled Ratings on homes with a building permit date that is on or after the six-month anniversary of the release of the software must utilize the newly released software.
  • Homes with a building permit date before the six-month anniversary of the release of the software will be allowed to complete a Confirmed or Sampled Rating based on the previous version of the software that was utilized for the Projected Rating.”

The amendment also allows the RESNET Board of Directors to stipulate a timeframe other than the six-month anniversary of the building permit date.  The RESNET Board of Directors has not used this clause to date.

The adopted amendment is posted at RESNET Standard Amendment #2017-01

The amendment goes into effect on February 16, 2017.

Link to related article: HERS® Rating Scores Going Up

Robby Schwarz


Who to Contact:

Robby Schwarz
Principal, Director of Builder Relations

Email Robby