This year, there's more to Spring than good weather: AFFORDABILITY Over the last three years, sellers were more than pleased to see that homes were selling for a total of 25 percent more than three years before, according to the S&P/Case Shiller Index. Sellers were pleased; buyers not so much. So far in 2015, slower gains for sellers have helped to make home affordability a more positive factor. Sellers are still going to net more from a home sale than they would have in recent years. But these same sellers, those who recently decided to trade up or move to a smaller place, are still doing buyers a big favor. It's a lovely circle. Prices have been going up, which makes some sell, and that puts lots of choice homes on the market, which makes others want to buy. As the number of great homes rise, prices become for settled, homes become more affordable, and everyone tends to get a great deal. Real estate agents may be more likely to make recommendations that meet all the buyer's wants, instead of just a few. Experts say it is too soon to calculate affordability for this year, but if you buy a home today it will definitely be more affordable than a year from now. Quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Bill McBride, who writes the popular Calculated Risk blog, reminds us that in the existing housing market, active inventory may influence pricing somewhat, but it also influences sales. McBride says that in 2014, home sales were just so-so, mainly because inventories remained low. Mortgage interest rates for 30-year instruments have drifted back to about 4 percent in some areas. Some economists, however, say rates will rise beginning in June or July of this year.