The sharp rise in energy prices in 2004 put less strain on household finances than might have been expected, according to a recent Freddie Mac analysis.

Freddie Mac reported that American homes built in the last few years are nearly twice as energy efficient as the typical house built in the 1960s.

“Crude oil prices have pulled back from a peak of $55.23 per barrel this past October, but as the nation enters its coldest season, oil prices are still considerably higher than the $30 a barrel of West Texas crude cost a year ago,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “And while we are certainly feeling the increase in oil prices at the gas pump and maybe even in our heating bills, the cost to families would be much greater if not for improvements in home energy efficiency.”

According to data analyzed by Freddie Mac from the American Housing Survey, fuel cost as a part of home value was about 0.8 percent between 2000 and 2003. Before 1960, it was about 1.8 percent and an average 1.3 percent in the oil shock decade of the 1970s.

Freddie Mac estimates that home energy efficiency continued to improve in 2004.


Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription