By MATT OTT
AP Business Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates jumped by more than a quarter-point this week to their highest level since 2008, a result of the Federal Reserve’s intensified effort to tamp down decades-high inflation and cool the economy. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year rate climbed to 6.29% from 6.02% last week. That’s the highest its been since October of 2008 when the housing market crashed, triggering the Great Recession. On Wednesday, the Fed bumped its benchmark borrowing rate by another three-quarters of a point. Rapidly rising interest rates sent US home sales down again in August, the seventh straight monthly decline.