From Business Week, January 12, 2009:
Mortgage rates have fallen sharply. Fixed rates on 30-year mortgages have dropped a full percentage point since mid-November, to 5.14% the lowest in the 37-year history of Freddie Mac data. Amid falling prices, the National Association of Realtors’ Housing Affordability Index in October stood at a 15-year high, and December data is certain to show an all-time high. A full point drop in mortgage rates for an 80% loan on a median-priced home lowers the monthly payment by about 10%. The decline has already unleashed a refinancing wave, with activity up more than fivefold since late November to a five year high.