Median income: $86,100
Affordability score: 37.6%
Many of the booming Orange County economies were driven by the once-swelling housing bubble. Thousands of jobs were created in construction, the real estate industry, retail and mortgage lending. Once that bubble burst, a lot of these jobs rapidly disappeared.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics counts Santa Ana as part of the Los Angeles metro area for calculating unemployment rate and that, at 11.9% in September, was above the national average.
Home prices have dropped substantially from the high they hit back in mid-2006, when the median Santa Ana home sold for $630,000.
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The NAHB judges a home to be affordable if a family making the metro area's median income could devote no more than 28% of their take-home pay toward housing costs.