Mortgage rates are on the rise, but they are still near historic lows.
The 30-year fixed rate continued to climb steadily, according to data from Bankrate.com’s weekly survey of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders. At press time, it jumped from 5.06 to 5.10 in one week. Likewise, the 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage climbed to 4.46 percent and the 5/1 adjustable-rate to 4.45 percent.
At the current 30-year fixed rate, you will pay $542.95 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, up from $540.49 the week before. At the current 15-year fixed rate, you will pay $762.95 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, up from $760.40 the week before.
But before everyone panics, let’s put these numbers into their proper perspective.
A Little History
Over the past 45 years, interest rates on the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage have ranged from as high as 18.63 percent in 1981 to as low as 3.31 percent in 2012. This proves that mortgage rates today (at less than 1/3 of the historical high) remain at historical lows.
In 1971, when Freddie Mac began surveying lenders for mortgage data, interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages ranged from 7.29 percent to 7.73 percent. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, mortgage rates steadily climbed as unchecked inflation contributed to a volatile national economy.
In the early 1980s, high-rate loans emerged as a part of the Federal Reserve’s plan to fight inflation. By October 1981, the average rate for 30-year mortgages reached its all-time high of 18.63 percent.
By the end of the 1980s, yearly inflation returned to a healthy 3.5 percent and mortgage rates dropped to around 10 percent. This downward trend continued throughout the 90s, as rates held between 6.49 percent and 10.67 percent. Over the past 20 years, rates for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages have largely remained in the single digits, peaking at 8.64 percent in May of 2000.
Since (and because of) the housing crisis in 2008, rates have consistently stayed under 6 percent, with the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages bottoming out at 3.31 percent in November 2012. So while today’s rates are currently on the rise, they are still at all-time lows compared to previous decades.
- Have mortgage rates risen recently? Yes.
- Is it likely that they’ll continue to gradually rise? Yes.
- Are today’s rates still historically low? Yes.
- So when considering all of these factors, is right now an ideal time to buy a new home? Unequivocally yes.
Our team is always here to answer questions and assist clients with mortgage needs, so call us to learn more.
Richie Sloan offers personalized, concierge-level service as a senior mortgage banker at IberiaBank Mortgage. He has served Central Floridians as an expert residential mortgage lending resource and trusted advisor since 2000.