Average long-term US mortgage rate comes back down this week

WASHINGTON (AP) — After two straight weekly increases, the average long-term U.S. mortgage rate came back down again this week but remains a significant hurdle for many prospective homebuyers. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average on the benchmark 30-year rate fell to 6.33% from 6.48% last week. A year ago the average rate was 3.45%. The average long-term rate reached a two-decade high of 7.08% in the fall as the Federal Reserve continued to boost its key lending rate in its quest to cool the economy and tame inflation. Higher mortgage rates have helped push existing home sales to their lowest level in a decade.