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.