The average on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained at 3.6 percent today, the lowest level for these rates in almost three years.

“The decline in mortgage rates over the last month is causing a spike in refinancing activity – as homeowners currently have $2 trillion in conventional mortgage loans that are in the money – which will help support consumer balance sheets and increase household cash flow,” Freddie Mac’s Sam Khater said in a statement. “On top of that, purchase demand is up seven percent from a year ago.”

A year ago, long-term rates were almost 100 basis points higher (4.53 percent), so it feels fitting for UrbanTurf to take its semi-regular look to see how changing rates are impacting mortgage payments.

We took a home with a $800,000 purchase price and assumed our buyer has excellent credit. Using the current rates and rates from last year, we examined how monthly mortgage payments changed. In each case, we assumed the buyer put down a 20 percent down payment. Note that these include principal and interest, but not the cost of insurance or taxes.

Here are the two scenarios:

August 2018: The average mortgage rate was 4.53 percent.

Monthly mortgage payment: $3,254
Total outlay on mortgage (monthly payment x 360 months): $1,171,513

May 2019: The average mortgage rate is 3.60 percent.

Monthly mortgage payment: $2,909
Total outlay on mortgage (monthly payment x 360 months): $1,047,503

So, the difference between a rate of 4.53 percent and 3.60 percent is $345 a month or $124,010 over the life of the loan.

SOURCE: UrbanTurf