Saying that the worst of the residential housing crisis is behind us, and pointing to the emergence of the Echo Boom generation in years to come, Mortgage Bankers Association president David Stevens struck a hopeful note in a brief look back at 2012.

"Opportunity lies ahead with the Echo Boom Generation, who are 80 million strong and just starting to turn 30, wanting to buy homes to raise their families," he writes on his blog at LinkedIn.

For Stevens, 2012 was what he characterized as "a year of growth," saying housing crossed a turning point during the year. And 2013? It's apparently the year of "regulatory implementation."