After four months of steady increase, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage peaked at 4.91% on March 28, 2022 – the highest figure in over two years. The increase comes as the Federal Reserve began hiking interest rates, for the first time in three years, and scaling back its holdings of mortgage-backed securities.
While mortgage rates have risen over the past several months, they remain at historic lows. Data from housing finance agency Freddie Mac beginning in 1971 shows that average annual 30-year fixed mortgage rate peaked at 16.63% in 1981, after the Fed raised short-term interest rates to counteract hyperinflation brought on by the oil embargo on Iran and a recession. Mortgage rates continued to decline into the 21st century, reaching their lowest point in 2021, as the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to near zero amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
To determine mortgage rates for the last 50 years, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed historical mortgage data from Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, commonly known as Freddie Mac. We listed the annual average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for each year.
The recent increase in mortgage rates compounds several other pressures currently facing potential homebuyers. Home prices are skyrocketing, and rising inflation is making it harder for potential buyers to save money for a downpayment. Inflation and higher interest rates are also making it more difficult for current homeowners to pay their mortgages, putting many borrowers at risk of foreclosure. Click here to see the most at-risk housing markets.
A tight housing market and the after-effects of the COVID-19 recession have also put renters in a precarious position, with many facing possible eviction. Click here to see the states with the most renters at risk of eviction.
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