Median home price:
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