WASHINGTON (2/15/10)--In its weekly release on the state of the home loan market, Freddie Mac disclosed that the average rate of 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.97% for the week ended Feb. 11, a slight drop from the previous week's average of 5.01%. Freddie Mac vice president/chief economist Frank Nothaft said that this was the third time in 2010 that the weekly mortgage rate average had fallen below 5%, "which helps a number of homeowners to refinance their existing housing debt." Fifteen-year mortgages averaged 4.34% during the week, a slight drop from the 4.4% average reported during the previous week. Thirty-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 5.16% and 4.81%, respectively, this time last year. Freddie Mac also released numbers on less conventional mortgages, noting that the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 4.19% for the week, with the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaging 4.33%.