Rates for 30-year fixed mortgages steadily declined to under 3.5 percent over the first 10 months of 2016, but shot up nearly one percentage point from Election Day to to late December. Rates have been falling since the new year, though.
Redfin reports that the current rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage sits at 4.09 percent, down from 4.12 percent a week ago and from 4.32 percent on December 19. Last year the rate was 3.81 percent.
Even with the fluctuation, mortgage rates are very low in a historical sense. Rates were around 6 percent during the 2000s, 8 percent during the 1990s, and well above 10 percent in the 1980s, topping out at 18.6 percent in October 1981.
Redfin forecasts rates won’t average above 4.3% for 2017, in large part because the government is a major investor in the mortgage space. … That said, it is possible rates will float upwards again, but if they do, it’ll likely be based on good economic conditions. “Rising rates are associated with an improving economy, more jobs, greater growth and higher wages. That should take the sting off a small uptick,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson.