Rates on fixed-rate mortgages hit new lows this week in response to the Federal Reserve’s announcement that it will make big purchases of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.85 percent with an average of 0.7 point for the week ending March 26, down from 4.98 percent a week ago and 5.85 percent a year ago. The rate has never been lower since Freddie Mac began its survey in 1971.

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