Mortgage rates drop below 5% for the first time since April

Rates have nearly doubled year-over-year.
A home for sale

Mortgage rates last week continued what has been a largely downward trend over the last six weeks, falling below 5 percent for the first time since April of this year. 

Rates tracked by Freddie Mac show the week ending on Aug. 4 with 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at 4.99 percent. The last time the 30-year rate was that low was in the first week of April. 

Mortgage rates had reached near-historic lows last summer, with 30-year rates exactly a year ago clocking at 2.77 percent, fueling a major boom in mortgage uptake alongside a tightly restricted housing market. 

Since then rates have greatly risen, reaching a high of about 5.80 percent in late June before modestly declining since then. 

The 30-year rate still remains low by historical standards; long-term data from Freddie Mac shows rates often well above 8 percent prior to the year 2000, with rates peaking at over 18 percent in 1981.