Mortgage Rates Drop to Record Low 4.85%
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rates on 30-year mortgages plunged this week to the lowest level on record after the Federal Reserve launched a new effort to assist the staggering U.S. housing market. Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac said Thursday that average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 4.85% this week, from 4.98% last week. It was the lowest in the history of Freddie Mac's survey, which dates back to 1971 (see chart above). The previous record low of 4.96% was set in the week of Jan. 15.
MP: It could be a lot worse. It was a lot worse in the 1981-1982 recession when mortgage rates peaked at about 18.5% in October 1981. The difference in monthly payments on a $100,000 mortgage at 18.5% ($1548) and a mortgage at today's 4.85% ($528) is more than $1,000 per month!