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How Much a Home Would Have Cost You In 1971



Posted on June 22, 2016 by Christina Lavingia

Purchasing a home is a major financial decision that isn't made on a whim. If you're a first-time home buyer, you've likely saved up for years for a down payment. If you're a current homeowner, you have to weigh your home's purchase value against the current market to determine if selling would be a net positive for you.

Those in market for a home are facing a lending environment wherein the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 3.54 percent, according to Freddie Mac. A 3 percent rate hasn't always been the norm, however. Numerous economic factors, like Federal Reserve policies and inflation, influence borrowing rates.

Fewer properties for sale and rising home prices are creating a seller's market for homeowners in 2016, according to the Washington Post. On the other end, hopeful first-time buyers are entering a desirable borrowing market, where low mortgage rates give them an advantage.

The team at Credio wanted to look back through Freddie Mac's data to see how mortgage rates have changed since they were first recorded in 1971.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, they were also able to determine the inflation-adjusted median sale price for a home each year through 2010, and calculated what a monthly payment would have been in inflation-adjusted terms.

Many potential homeowners were priced out of the market in the early 1980s, when mortgage rates peaked, averaging at 16.6 percent in 1981. At the time, double-digit inflation rates forced regulators to drive up interest rates. Ultimately, the high barrier to entry slowed the housing market down for numerous years. Today, home buyers are enjoying a rate that's far lower than the median mortgage rate (from 1971 to 2010) of 8.22 percent.

As high demand and low vacancy rates continue to increase rental prices, according to U.S. News, eager buyers might find that today's low-rate market makes it more advantageous to become a homeowner than continue renting.


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