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Historical Mortgage Rates

Written by Nickel - 10 Comments

Wondering why everyone is talking about mortgage rates these days?

If so, then check out this graph…

historical mortgage rates

This is a graph of historical mortgage rates going back to 1986. As you can see, rates on 15- and 30-year fixed rate mortgages are currently really low.

Back when we bought our first house in 2002, we were paying something like 6.5% on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Not long thereafter, we refinanced to 5.75% — once again for 30 years.

When we sold that house and bought our current one in 2006, our rate bounced back up 6.375% for 30 years. We later refinanced into a 15-year fixed rate mortgage at 4.875%, and have since paid it off.

As things currently stand, you could get a 30-year fixed rate of 5% or less. Amazing. Almost makes me want to have a mortgage again. Almost. :-)

Source: HSH.com via MyMoneyBlog

Published on July 28th, 2010 - 10 Comments
Filed under: Mortgages

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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10 Responses to “Historical Mortgage Rates”

  1. 1
    BG Says:

    Are you just showing the first year’s ‘teaser’ rate for the 1-year ARM?

    As it stands in the graph, the 1-year ARM appears to always be the best option, which I highly doubt is accurate.

  2. 2
    kev Says:

    Refinanced back in 2003 for 30 years at 4.875% fixed. Man… I thought I was the top dog. I was the only person I knew out of family, friends, and co-workers with a sub 5% fixed rate. I thought they would NEVER be that low again.

    Here we are a few years later and seems like everyone has a rate that low or even lower. I refinanced a different home this past December for 15 years at 4.5% with almost no closing costs. Friends of mine are now getting loans from that same bank for 4.25%. It’s crazy… If rates happen to fall to 4% flat and my lender keeps the same low closing costs in place then I will be refinancing again.

  3. 3
    Noah Says:

    Awesome! We got a 30 yr @ 4.75% back in April this year.

  4. 4
    Nickel Says:

    BG: Yes, I believe that is the initial rate for the ARMs – this is typically how they are presented, but obviously there is a huge asterisk that accompanies that rate. I’m not at all a fan of ARMs, especially not 1 year ARMs, which is why I didn’t even mention them in the article. The graph isn’t mine (see link at bottom of article) which is why they were included.

  5. 5
    donna Says:

    Just yesterday we locked into a 3.375% for a 30-year. Although it feels like that’s practically free, that’s still ~$5500 a year in cost to finance the home.

  6. 6
    BG Says:

    Donna) I tend to just ignore the quoted ‘rate’ now, since closing costs are so much higher than years past. Calculate your own APR (which includes the costs, not just the interest) to see how a loan really stands. I don’t trust the APR quoted by lenders either, because they ignore a lot of the fees associated with the loan.

    Here is an online calculator to calculate your true APR number:


    A 3.375% rate sounds amazing, but what is the APR? That’s the important number to me. I’m sure I could go and get a 0% ‘rate’, as long as I paid $100k in fees/points to get there.

  7. 7
    donna Says:

    Thanks, BG… I’ve never thought of all the extra costs. We managed to get a hell of a deal, including a credit on appraisal, and $5000 in seller paid closing costs. So, because of PMI, it’s up to %3.5642APR.

  8. 8
    BG Says:

    Donna) That is nuts — what bank did you use? If I can get APRs that low, then it would be worth it to do a refi.

    Did your APR calculation include the $5k in seller paid closing costs (it’s still a cost, just not yours)? Did you buy from a builder?

  9. 9
    Funny about Money Says:

    That’s incredible. If Donna’s bank will do that, I wonder if we could get our credit union to give us a near-miraculous rate. I would cheerfully pay a few thou up front to get rid of the obscene payments on a house that’s not worth what we owe on it.
    Seconding BG: what bank, please?

  10. 10
    Freebird Says:

    Sure, rates are amazing. But you home buyers have all been lucky. First, most banks now require that you put 20% cash down. Not so easy for many. THEN, the banks seem to look for ANY excuse to reject your loan application, even if you’ve been “pre-qualified or pre-approved.” I urge all of you home buyers, regardless of your stellar credit ratings, to request VERY long closing dates in your contracts. You will not believe the rediculous hoops the banks will make you jump through to get your loan. Don’t get me wrong… they SHOULD be EXTRA careful before making these loans but their requests get completely stupid, and laughable. I will spare you the stories of our home purchase but it miraculously worked out in the end. Others may not be so lucky.

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