The US housing industry is far from healthy, but the worst is behind us, writes Wall Street Journal economics editor David Wessel. "The housing bust is over," he declares, marshaling a slew of long-range stats. Among them: About 10% more existing homes were sold this May compared to last, and the fraction of vacant homes is at its lowest level since 2006. Figures for new-home construction are similarly upbeat.
What's more, 41 of 44 forecasters surveyed by the Journal think the market has hit bottom. "The upturn in housing is a milestone, a particularly welcome one amid a distressing dearth of jobs," writes Wessel. "For some time, housing has been one of the biggest causes of economic weakness. It has now—barely—moved to the plus side." From here on out, housing shouldn't be a drag on the economy. Click for Wessel's full column.