Industry NewsMortgage

QE2 pushes mortgage rates to new lows

Loan demand picks up, but still off from year ago

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"QE2" -- the Federal Reserve's plan to buy up to $600 billion in Treasurys -- helped push rates on fixed-rate mortgages to all-time lows this week, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.Applications for mortgage loans jumped a seasonally adjusted 5.8 percent last week compared to the week before, with demand for both purchase and refinance loans increasing, the Mortgage Bankers Association found in a separate survey.Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.17 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending Nov. 11, Freddie Mac said, down from 4.24 percent last week and 4.91 percent a year ago.Rates on 15-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.57 percent with an average 0.8 point, down from 3.63 percent last week and 4.36 percent a year ago.Those were both new lows in records that date to 1971 for 30-year fixed-rate loans, and 1991 for 15-year fixed-rate loans.After the Fed's Nov. 3 announcement that it plans a second round...