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9 of 10
Fourth place: Santa Ana, Calif.
Fourth place: Santa Ana, Calif.
This precious 2-bedroom cottage in the Floral Park section of Santa Ana is a deal at $515,000.
Median home price: $435,000
Median income: $86,100
Affordability score: 34.5%

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 11.3% in December, 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. But prices rose to $435,000 during the final three months of 2009, up from $411,000.

That caused affordability to take a hit; only 34.5% of the homes sold were comfortably open to median-income earners. That was down from 37.6% three months earlier.

NEXT: Fifth place: Los Angeles
Last updated February 19 2010: 7:45 AM ET
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