The year 2012 brought a housing turnaround with total home sales increasing 6% to 4.2 million sales for the entire year, CoreLogic said Monday.

This is the first year-over-year sales increase since 2005, signaling a housing market that is rebounding and poised for further growth, the data research firm suggested.

The total home sales figure for 2012 is up from 3.9 million in 2011.

New home sales also improved, growing 3% to 300,000 transactions on brand new homes in 2012.

The distressed housing market also thawed, with REO sales declining more than 20% to 600,000 sales last year.

Meanwhile, short-sales rose 23% to 370,000 units, the highest level since the real estate downturn.

At the same time, serious delinquencies (or loans that are 90 days or more past due) fell by nearly 300,000 loans last year, pushing the serious delinquency rate down from 7.4% to 6.9%.

CoreLogic noted an ongoing two-year decline in late payments, with serious delinquencies falling by one million loans since the January 2010 peak.

As the housing market pushes deeper into 2013, CoreLogic sees real estate "poised for further recovery," despite the uncertainty of how the qualified mortgage rule and other new regulations will impact lending.

"Rising home prices will continue to slowly release pent-up supply as under-equitied borrowers are unlocked and opportunistic sellers begin to provide relief to tight inventories," CoreLogic wrote. "Geographic diversity in home price growth will continue."