The housing market has been in the process of a steady recovery now for two years. The closely watched S&P/Case-Shiller composite index which tracks housing prices in 20 metropolitan statistical areas came out with figures today sowing home prices in these markets rose 0.9 percent last March,home prices on the rise seasonally adjusted, slightly higher than the 0.7 percent rise many economist predicted.

On a year over year basis, the same index popped 12.4 percent, a healthy gain but still a bit lower than the prior month’s reading of 12.9 percent. These numbers tell us two things- the housing market is still on a gradual recovery without any significant price spikes. For real estate investors who are watching their assets appreciate, this is good news.

There seems to be no single catalyst for this extended gain. Over the past two years there had been some pent up demand and as buyers grew more confident about the economy they slowly crept back in to the home buying market. One of the reasons that is in fact in play is the mortgage rate environment. Mortgage rates have been on a gradual decline and last week hit a seven month low, with the 30 year mortgage hitting 4.14 percent, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey.

Mortgage rates seem to be following the Ukrainian situation closely and investors appear to be parking capital into bonds and Treasuries and mortgage bonds are no exception. As each economic report is released, geopolitical events are front and center.

If the current trend continues with a tepid recovery along with an unstable Ukraine, mortgage rates should continue to be in their current range which can help more buyers qualify for financing as real estate investors list their homes for sale. And for investors considering buying and financing additional real estate, for those financing those purchases, borrowing costs are still very attractive.