Mortgage Rates: Are Your Stars Aligned?

August 20, 2019

If you're in the market to buy a home, you're likely laser focused on listing prices to keep you within your budget. The price tag is certainly important, but don't forget to factor in mortgage rates when it comes to your purchasing power.

stars aligned in a row

Current mortgage rates are still low, making it a good time to buy.  In fact, locking in at today's rates could make a home that was once unaffordable, affordable.

It's unlikely that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate will return to its all-time record low in 2012 of 3.31%. However, mortgage rates are still low compared to almost any year since Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1971. Today, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is around 3.6%— down from 4.53% a year ago.

Mortgage RateMonthly Mortgage Payment*
Mortgage Rate: 3.31% - all-time low in 2012Monthly Mortgage Payment*: $1,457
Mortgage Rate: 3.6% - todayMonthly Mortgage Payment*: $1,493
Mortgage Rate: 4.53% - last yearMonthly Mortgage Payment*: $1,614
Mortgage Rate: 6.29% - avg. rate from 2000 - 2009Monthly Mortgage Payment*: $1,862
Mortgage Rate: 18.63% – all-time high in 1981Monthly Mortgage Payment*: $3,977

* Mortgage payments are based principal and interest only, based on a $250,000 fully amortizing mortgage. All terms are assumed to be 30 years.

As you can see, mortgage rates play a big role in how much home you can afford and it's important to watch them carefully if you're in the market to buy. The savings from securing a 3.6% rate versus 4.53% on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is $121 per month – $10 more than the average monthly electric bill in the United States. The savings add up fast, and over the life of a 30-year fixed-rate loan, you'd save a total of $43,560 on interest payments.

Buying a home is a big investment — perhaps the biggest one you'll make in your life. If you've done your homework and are ready to make your purchase, your stars may be aligned.

Be sure to check out our Fixed-Rate Mortgage calculator to crunch your own numbers and visit My Home® by Freddie Mac  for more information on buying a home.