Interest Rates through the Years

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Select R.E.


Interest Rates through the Years


I am going to tip my hand pretty quick here, and give away my age.  But I was recently talking to a client's father and we were reminiscing about what kinds of interest rates we have paid on various homes we have owned throughout our lives. 

We both bought our first homes in the mid 80's when interest rates were in the double digits.  When my husband and I purchased our first home in 1985 interest rates averaged 12.43%.  However they were on the way down - in 1981 they had been averaging 16.63%!  Wow, that certainly affected your buying power.


We bought our next home in 1990 and were excited to get a rate just under 10%!!  Woo Hoo, we thought we had won the lottery.  And just a few years later we were able to refinance that home into a 15 year mortgage in the mid 7's.  Life was looking good.

The last few years have seen some historically LOW interest rates - certainly rates that when I first began this journey we call life I never thought I'd see.  They look to be on the rise, but are certainly still quite amazing.  Below is a chart of where they have been over the past 40-ish years.  If you are looking to buy, interest rate wise you certainly can't pick a better time.



Year Rate
1972 7.38
1973 8.04
1974 9.19
1975 9.05
1976 8.87
1977 8.85
1978 9.64
1979 11.2
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


Comments (5)

Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Geri, you did a great job with this !!! I just had to reblog it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jan 23, 2011 05:30 AM
geri wehry
RE/MAX Select R.E. - Covington, WA
your agent for life

Michael - glad you enjoyed it.   We sometimes forget how amazing todays rates are.  I know I couldn't afford my own house today if I had to pay those double digit rates from the 80's.  Have a great day!  ...geri

Jan 23, 2011 05:34 AM
Lori Bowers
La Quinta, CA
The Lori Bowers Group

Interest rates do really make a difference on affordaibility.

$100,000 @ 10% = $1000

$100,000 @5% = $500

Jan 23, 2011 09:13 AM
Don Black
RE/MAX Patriots - Manchester, PA

That's crazy!  I've only been in real estate for six years, even though I was in high school during the highest interest rates.  I can't even imagine trying to sell real estate, let alone buying a home myself, with interest rates that high.  Folks today, myself included, are definitely spoiled.

Jan 23, 2011 11:01 AM
geri wehry
RE/MAX Select R.E. - Covington, WA
your agent for life

Lori - You are so right!  What a difference the interest rate makes on the buyer.  As I said in my earlier comment if I had the interest rates of the 80's with what my house is worth today I coudn't afford to buy it.  We are so lucky right now with these historically low rates! 

Don - ok thanks for tipping your hand too about your age :)   I am happy to say that though was I out of HS and married in the 80's I was young and just starting out - so yes I am older than you but at least you didn't say you were born in the 80's... Then I could be your mom :)    

Have a great day - thanks for stopping by!!

Jan 24, 2011 03:53 AM