Mortgage Rates Hover Near Record Low in Pandemic Solace

Off the Charts: Trendline Says It All

Smiling mature woman carrying box while moving into new home

Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Historically low mortgage interest rates have helped to keep the housing market flying high during the pandemic. The chart below shows just how good mortgage rates are for homebuyers these days compared to the mid-1980s, or even just a few years ago. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage stayed put at 2.73% this week, hovering just above the record low of 2.65% hit earlier this year.

Combined with high demand and record low inventory, these record low interest rates have propped up a housing boom that sharply contrasts with the slump of the 2008 financial crisis.

“Unlike the last housing downturn, people have more equity in their homes, which they can leverage along with low interest rates to really increase their buying power,” Eddie Wilder, president and CEO of ERA Wilder Realty in Columbia, South Carolina, said in a new oral history of the impact of COVID-19 on the real estate industry.