A chart of 30-year mortgage rates for the last 25 years shows rates near 10 per cent in the mid 1980s and hovering around 5 per cent in 2010. Although the trend has been down, there have been extended periods when mortgage rates were increasing. The Freddie Mac website provides a historical listing of mortgage rates going back to 1971 through 2010.
In the early 1970s the average mortgage rate was about 7.5 per cent. 1972 was the low year for the decade, with an average rate at 7.38 per cent. Rates in the rest of the 70s stayed in a range of 8 to 9 per cent until 1978. The average 30-year mortgage rate jumped above 10 per cent in November 1978 and the average for the year was 9.64 per cent. In 1979, the average mortgage rate was 11.20 per cent.
The 1980s saw double-digit mortgage rates. In 1980, the average rate was 13.74 per cent. It got worse, as 1981 and 1982 saw average rates of 16.63 and 16.04 per cent, respectively. Mortgage rate averaged in the 12 to 13 per cent range for the next few years and then continued lower. 1986-1989 saw average annual mortgage rate stay in a tight range of 10.2 to 10.3 per cent.
Starting at 10.13 per cent in 1990, the average mortgage rate dropped by about one per cent a year to 7.31 per cent in 1993. The average rate in 1994 was 8.38 per cent, followed by three years with rates in a range of 7.6 to 7.8 per cent. In 1998, the rate dropped to just under 7 per cent before increasing back to 7.44 per cent in 1999.
The New Century
In 2000, the average mortgage rate popped up to 8.05 per cent and then dropped to 6.94 per cent in 2001. Rates fell below 6 per cent in 2003 and stayed near 5.8 per cent through 2005. The rates for 2006, 2008 and 2008 were 6.41 per cent, 6.34 per cent and 6.03 per cent. In 2009, the full effects of the housing crash hit the economy and the average mortgage rate was 5.04 per cent. Rates continued to decline and averaged 4.69 per cent in 2010.