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So long, 2012. You’ll be missed

From a housing perspective, the past year was a good one for Massachusetts – and we can only hope things will continue to improve in 2013.

Think about all the progress over the past year in Massachusetts: An increase in home sales for 11 consecutive months, a healthy decline in inventory, a slowdown in the pace of foreclosures, historically low interest rates, more people getting jobs and able to hang on to their homes.

Sure, prices haven’t bounced back yet. They’ll probably start increasing over the coming year. But the fact they didn’t go up, on average, over the past year isn’t such a bad thing.

Look at this accompanying chart tracking metropolitan-Boston housing prices from 1987 through 2012. Do you really think we should and ought to go back to old bubble-era price levels? Count us out on that score. Moderate price increases, yes. Bubble-like price increases, no thanks.

There’s a lot of room for improvement heading into 2013 – from the need for fewer foreclosures to the need for more housing starts. The list is pretty long. Tops on our housing/economic list: More jobs, please.

But 2012 was, all in all, a good real-estate year, considering where we were only a few years ago, and it’s probably, or hopefully, going to be remembered as the year the housing market truly began to recover from the Great Recession.*

File under: Happy New Year to all our Boston Real Estate Blog readers!

* With all caveats and qualifiers appropriately applied. Thank you.