It may finally be time for housing to emerge from the the recession, writes The Wall Street Journal's Justin Lahart. (Subscription required.)

The conditions for improvement are there. The job market has continued to strengthen—there were 2.8 million more people working last month than in the same month a year ago, according to the Labor Department—bolstering incomes.

These factors are leading more people to look for mortgages.

The most recent monthly readings on new home sales and pending sales of existing homes, were encouraging. There has been an increase in the number of people applying for a mortgage. The Mortgage Bankers Association last week said its index of mortgage applications for purchasing a home was up 24% from a year earlier.

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