Average rate on a 30-year mortgage eased this week to 6.86%, lowest level since early April

LOS ANGELES — The average rate on a 30-year mortgage eased again this week, extending a welcome trend for prospective homebuyers facing record-high home prices.

The rate fell to 6.86% from 6.87% last week, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday. A year ago, the rate averaged 6.71%.

This is the fourth straight weekly drop in the rate, which has mostly hovered around 7% this year. Home sales have been falling in recent months as the elevated rates, which can add hundreds of dollars a month in costs for borrowers, have put off many home shoppers.

Borrowing costs on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, popular with homeowners refinancing their home loans, rose this week, pushing the average rate to 6.16% from 6.13% last week. A year ago, it averaged 6.06%, Freddie Mac said.

Mortgage rates are influenced by several factors, including how the bond market reacts to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy and the moves in the 10-year Treasury yield, which lenders use as a guide to pricing home loans.

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