There is a significant tie between housing prices and mortgage rates. As such, don't assume low mortgage rates mean you will be financially better off if you buy now, since housing prices are inversely correlated with mortgage rates. This isn't a huge correlation - it's R-squared is a bit under 20%, at a 1.5-2 year lag - but there is a significant connection there. Particularly in that 10%+ era (see chart at end of post for details) in 1979-1982, there was a dramatic drop in housing price growth that corresponded with high interest rates.
There is a second major factor here, though, one that is likely much more important: why the interest rates are at 10%. Interest rates are largely set to follow the Federal Funds rate (the rate at which the Federal Reserve loans to banks). That rate is set higher for essentially one purpose: to combat inflation. Higher interest rates means less borrowing, slower economic growth, and most importantly, a slower increase in the money supply - all of which come together to prevent inflation.
Those 10% (and higher!) rates you heard about? Those were in the 70's and early 80's. Anyone remember the Jimmy Carter years? Inflation in the period from 1979 to 1981 averaged over 10%. Inflation in the 70s from 1973 to 1982 averaged nearly 9% annually. That meant your dollar this year was worth only $0.90 next year - which means inevitably a higher cost of borrowing.
In addition to simply keeping pace with inflation, the Fed also uses the rate as a carrot/stick to control US inflation. They weren't as good at that in the 70s - they misread economic indicators in the late 1970s significantly, lowering rates dramatically in 1975-1977 (from ~12% to ~5%). This led to the dramatic double-digit inflation of the 1979-1981 period, requiring them to raise rates to astronomic levels - nearly 20% at one point. Yeah, I hope nobody bought a house on a fixed-rate mortgage from 1979-1981.
The Fed has gotten a lot more careful over the years - Alan Greenspan largely was responsible for the shift in policy which seems to have been quite effective from the mid 1980s to the present (though he's long gone from his spot on the Fed board). Despite significant economic changes in both directions, inflation has been kept largely under control since then, and since 1991 have been keeping pretty steady around 6% or less. The current rate (around 0%) is unlikely to stay around forever - that would lead to massive inflation, eventually - but it's reasonable to say that prolonged periods over 10% are unlikely in the medium term.
Further, if inflation did spike (and with it, your interest rates), salaries tend to spike also. Not quite as fast as inflation - in fact, that's a major reason a small positive inflation around 2-3% is important, to allow for wages to grow more slowly for poorer performers - but still, at 10% inflation the average wage will climb at a fairly similar pace. Thus, you'd be able to buy more house - or, perhaps a better idea, save more money for a house that you can then buy a few years down the road when rates drop.
Ultimately, the advice here is to not worry too much about interest rates. Buy a house when you're ready, and buy the house you're ready for. Interest rates may rise, but if so it's likely due to an increase in inflation and thus wage growth; and it would take a major shift in the economy for rates to rise to the 10-11% level. If that did happen, housing prices (or at least growth in prices) would likely drop significantly.
Some further references: