Well, bad news folks: It's not coming this year. I pinged Turbine for a comment about this, and Producer Hannah Foell responded by saying, "After some excellent feedback from the Player's Council we elected to spend more time on it and push the housing update back to next year."
This is disappointing though not surprising. I've had the feeling that Turbine's been "behind" with Lord of the Rings Online this year, especially considering the expansion testing and release, and the studio's been visibly reluctant to get moving on a housing revamp, going so far as to downplay expectations by the community. So if we're not getting any improvements to housing in 2013, then I have time to ponder what this system needs. And since I'm not on this super-secretive and super-mysterious player council, you can hear what my thoughts are right now.