Fed moves push mortgage rates back into record territory

Demand for purchase loans up 7 percent from a year ago

Mortgage rates were at or near record lows this week following the Federal Reserve’s announcement that it will buy tens of billions in mortgage bonds every month for an indefinite period in order to reduce the cost of borrowing and stimulate the economy.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.49 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending Sept. 20, down from 3.55 percent last week and 4.09 percent a year ago, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey. That matches an all-time low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971 last seen during the week ending July 26.