5-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates
Historical 5-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates From 1973 – Today
5-year fixed mortgage rate defined
The ‘5’ in a 5-year mortgage rate represents the term of the mortgage, not to be confused with the amortization period. The term is the length of time you lock in the current mortgage rate, while the amortization period is the amount of time it will take you to pay off your mortgage. The term acts like a reset button on your mortgage, at which point you must renew the mortgage at a rate available at the end of the term. So, for example, a typical mortgage has a 5-year term and a 25-year amortization period.
When the mortgage rate is ‘fixed’ it means that the rate (%) is set for the duration of the term, whereas with a variable mortgage rate, the rate fluctuates with the market interest rate, known as the ‘prime rate’. So, for example, if the 5-year fixed mortgage rate is 4%, then you will pay 4% interest throughout the term of the mortgage.
An interesting feature of the 5-year fixed mortgage rate is that all borrowers must meet its standards of approval even if they choose a mortgage with a lower interest rate and shorter term. This benchmark is applied not only to reduce risk for the lender, but to give the borrower some breathing room.
Popularity of 5-year fixed mortgage rates
A 5-year mortgage term, at 66% of all mortgages, is by far the most common duration. It sits right in the middle of available mortgage term lengths, between one and 10 years, and, thus, its popularity reflects a risk-neutral average.
A further breakdown of mortgage terms shows that an additional 8% of mortgages have terms exceeding five years, while 26% of mortgages have shorter terms, including 6% with one year or less and 20% with terms from one year to less than four years.
Fixed rates are also most common, representing 66% of total mortgages as well. In terms of age dispersion, fixed rate mortgages are slightly more common for the youngest age groups, and older age groups are more likely to choose variable rate mortgages.