It's either a great time to buy a house—or you'll never be able to afford one.
A lot depends on where you live.
Home prices have perked up again after taking a breather last year. U.S. single-family home prices rose in December, especially in the western half of the country, according to the latest numbers from the widely watched S&P Case Shiller home price index.
And while the job market is also improving, those gains have yet to show up in workers' paychecks. On Friday, the government reported that U.S. employers added 295,000 jobs, pushing the jobless rate down to 5.5 percent from 5.7 percent.