Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped below 5 percent this week, according to a survey of lenders taken before Wednesday’s announcement that the Federal Reserve plans to buy up to $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities this year.

At 4.98 percent with an average of 0.7 point, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) has not been lower since Jan. 15, when it hit an all-time low of 4.96 percent, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey. At this time last year, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.87 percent.

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