After a few years of double digit declines in home values, homeowners across America are drawing comfort from the new and improved housing market, which is slowly but surely on the upswing. Russell Price, an economist for American Financial told Fox News on April 26, “Rather than getting big 20 percent to 30 percent gains on either sales or prices any one year, we’re going to get a gradual improvement process that is much healthier for the economy rather than a sharp rebound.” This is all good news for the average homeowner.

When the housing market hit its lowest level, the value of people’s homes across America took a deep nosedive. Because a home is most often the largest asset in a person’s portfolio, the decrease was painful. Many homeowners simply stopped looking at Zillow as more and more foreclosure signs popped up in their neighborhoods.

That was then and this is now. In 2013, the inventory of homes for sale has dropped drastically, meaning houses can sell at higher prices. On average, homes across America are currently selling 9 percent higher than they were in 2012. This is a huge shift in just one year, when home sales were sluggish at best.

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One driving force for the improving housing market is low interest rates. With good credit scores, buyers can take out loans that carry a historically low 30-year fixed interest rate as low as 3.5 percent. On April 27, the 15-year fixed rate was 2.803 percent. Even though they continue to inch upward, home interest rates are not expected to spike upward. The Washington Examiner predicts that home mortgage interest rates will probably stay under 4 percent in 2013 and slowly creep to about 4.5 percent in 2014.

Experts like Linda McKissack, author of two real estate books and one of the country’s finest trainers, remain positive about the improving real estate market. Sellers can bring in more money and their home moves more quickly. Buyers enjoy low interest rates, but the inventory of homes is way down. If you’re in the market, it’s important to make an offer quickly on any property that interests you.

Clark Howard, a nationally recognized consumer advocate, says, “We are in the early stages of a meaningful recovery.” he claims this presents a real opportunity for both homeowners and buyers. “Hopefully, we never get back to the speculative building by the millions that threw the supply-demand equation out of balance. We’ve now had enough time to sock up all the excess inventory.”

This is all good news homeowners and buyers alike. Comfort often comes in small, but steady doses.