WASHINGTON (AP) _ Rates for 30-year and 15-year mortgages held steady down this week but adjustable-rate mortgages ticked up.

The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was unchanged at 7.73 percent for the week ending Nov. 24, the same rate as the previous week, according to a survey released Wednesday by Freddie Mac, the mortgage company. A year ago, the rate on 30-year mortgages stood at 7.75 percent.

In mid-May, rates on 30-year mortgages hit a five-year high of 8.64 percent.

Fifteen-year mortgages, a popular option for refinancing, also were unchanged at an average 7.41 percent this week. A year ago, 15-year mortgages averaged 7.36 percent

On one-year adjustable-rate mortgages, lenders were asking an average initial rate of 7.28 percent, up from 7.25 percent the week before. For the same period last year, one-year ARMS averaged 6.45 percent.

The rates do not include add-on fees known as points, which averaged 1 percent of the loan amount for all three types of mortgages.

``Financial markets are in a holding pattern as the winter holiday season begins, leaving rates below 8 percent for the 15th consecutive week,'' said Robert Van Order, Freddie Mac's chief economist.

``With no new major indicators released to influence them, long-term mortgage rates remain steady and affordable,'' he added.