WASHINGTON - Rates on 30-year mortgages held steady this week near their low point for the year, reflecting the slowdown in economic growth.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported yesterday that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.16 percent nationwide this week, unchanged from last week. That level is near the low for the year of 6.14 percent for 30-year mortgages in early March.

Rates had fallen for two straight weeks before holding steady this week. Analysts said investors saw the recent report on economic growth as further evidence the slowing economy will relieve pressures on inflation.

Mortgage rates have been relatively stable over the past four months with the 30-year fluctuating in a narrow range that saw it go as high as 6.34 percent in early February and as low as 6.14 percent for the first two weeks in March.

Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, a popular choice for refinancing, were unchanged at 5.87 percent, the same as last week.

Five-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.87 percent this week as well, compared to 5.88 percent last week.

One-year adjustable rate mortgages edged down to 5.42 percent, compared to 5.43 percent last week.

The mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points. Thirty-year and 15-year mortgages both carried a nationwide average fee of 0.5 point. Five-year adjustable-rate mortgages carried a 0.6 point and one-year ARMs carried an average fee of 0.7 point. *