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We keep hearing that mortgage rates are the lowest in recorded history and it is true. Presently, the 30-year fixed rate on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace is 3.88 percent, the 15-year fixed is 3.35 percent and the 5/1 ARM is 2.81 percent.

Take a look at the history of the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate each year since 1972, when Freddie Mac started keeping track:

1972 – 7.38
1973 – 8.04
1974 – 9.19
1975 – 9.05
1976 – 8.87
1977 – 8.85
1978 – 9.64
1979 – 11.20
1980 – 13.74
1981 – 16.63
1982 – 16.04
1983 – 13.24
1984 – 13.88
1985 – 12.43
1986 – 10.19
1987 – 10.21
1988 – 10.34
1989 – 10.32
1990 – 10.13
1991 – 9.25
1992 – 8.39
1993 – 7.31
1994 – 8.38
1995 – 7.93
1996 – 7.81
1997 – 7.6
1998 – 6.94
1999 – 7.44
2000 – 8.05
2001 – 6.97
2002 – 6.54
2003 – 5.83
2004 – 5.84
2005 – 5.87
2006 – 6.41
2007 – 6.34
2008 – 6.03
2009 – 5.04
2010 – 4.69
2011 – 4.45
2012 – 3.66

> See mortgage rates on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace

  • bowseat93

    So what’s true is that they are the lowest in *recorded* history.

    The house I grew up in was bought in 1965. My parents may have refinanced it at some point, but I do know that when they sold the house in the mid-80s, the rate on their mortgage was under 4% (the payment was in the low $200s/month as I recall).

  • http://www.zillow.com/profile/dianetuman/ Diane Tuman

    Yes, bowseat93 – you’re right — lowest in *recorded* history. Good point.

  • joe

    Interesting…what happened in 1981? I wonder if rates can go below 4%. Is that really possible or just wishful thinking. I mean can banks make any profit at even lower rates?

  • https://tedwards.scentsy.us Scentsy Wickless Candles

    Wow! If possible, this is a great time to buy a home. A lot of inventory combined with the lowest interest rates in history… great combination.

  • Pingback: History of Mortgage Rates | Zillow Blog – Real Estate Market Stats … « Home Loans and Mortgages on Bad Credit by Mortgages MAX

  • http://denvercohomesforsale.org/ denver co homes for sale

    Awesome! Now if we can just get job creation to motivate the banks to lend.

  • http://www.merimbula.com.au Merimbula Accommodation

    The 1990 year seems to be the best profitable year in history for people in this field.

  • http://iangray.georgiamls.com Ian Gray

    This downward trend in interest rates has really been going on for quite a number of years, and is not really a recent occurrence.

  • http://www.dougfrancis.com Doug Francis

    It is interesting to observe today’s first-time real estate buyers who can’t fathom a 8% fixed rate. But for most of your “recorded history”, a 8% rate would be have been very attractive.

  • DebtFree

    While interest rates are low, home prices remain near all time highs. Once you sign on the dotted line, that purchase price cannot be lowered, however one can refinance later to a more favorable rate.

    So while low interest rates are appealing, still-inflated housing prices diminish any sense of urgency.

  • http://www.cashbackmortgage.com.au Home Loans – Cash Back Mortgage

    Informative and Useful List. I also saw a similar list but yours is better. It seems that the downward trend will continue to the next coming years.

  • http://www.sempihost.com.br hospedagem

    Nice comment, Doug Francis

    It is interesting to observe today’s first-time real estate buyers who can’t fathom a 8% fixed rate.

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