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A Short History of Mortgage Rates Since 2010

For many Americans, homeownership is a cornerstone of the American Dream. But the dream often comes with a price tag in the form of mortgage interest rates. Over the past decade, prospective homeowners have navigated through fluctuating interest rates that have significantly influenced the affordability of buying a home. Interest rates have remained relatively low but in recent months, the 30 year fixed is nearing 7% and buyers are feeling the pinch. In this blog, we'll take a look at the history of mortgage rates in the United States since 2010.

2010-2012: After the 2008 financial crisis, mortgage rates in the United States began 2010 at historically low levels. In January 2010, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage stood at around 5.06%. As the economy slowly recovered, rates remained relatively stable through 2011 and into 2012. By the end of 2012, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged approximately 3.32%.

2013-2014: Rates remained relatively low but the Federal Reserve's discussions about tapering its bond-buying program caused some turbulence. In May 2013, mortgage rates saw an increase, pushing the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to around 3.80% by year end.

2015-2017: To stimulate the economy and support the housing market, the Federal Reserve maintained a low-interest-rate policy during this period. In January 2016, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was around 3.92%, and stayed near that level through 2017.

2018-2019: In January 2018, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.15%. Rates continued to inch higher through 2018, ending the year at around 4.64%. The trend continued into 2019 but by the end of the year, rates had dropped back and were averaging 3.68%.

2020-2021: The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted dramatic action from the Federal Reserve. To bolster the economy, the Fed lowered interest rates to historic lows. In March 2020, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to approximately 3.36%. Mortgage rates remained near or below 3.00% throughout much of 2020 and into 2021, hitting a low of 2.65% in early January 2021. Homeownership became much more affordable during a challenging time.

2022-Present As the economy rebounded, the Federal Reserve began signaling plans to raise interest rates to combat rising inflation. By early 2022, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage had increased to around 4.00% and steadily increased over the year, ending around 6.49% in December. 2022. The Federal Reserve did 7 interest hikes during the course of 2022 and set the record for the most increases in a single year. 2023 began with rates averaging 6.33% and as we head into the fall, rates are now sitting around 7.23%.

The past decade has seen fluctuations in mortgage rates, ranging from historic lows to modest highs. These rate movements have had a profound impact on the affordability of homeownership and the dynamics of the real estate market. Buyers and Sellers are constantly trying to guess the future of interest rates and home prices but as we all know…..none of us have a crystal ball and there are no guarantees!

Source: US News Historical Mortgage Rate Charts


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