A closer look at Orange County's economic recovery

The economic recession of the late 2000s devastated many areas of the United States, including Orange County. However, declining unemployment rates and improving home sales have helped the nation speed up its recovery. In California, many residents have seen noticeable economic gains over the past few years, and the homes for sale in Orange County have played a critical part in the state's recovery.

According to The Wall Street Journal, yield-hungry investors have been attracted to the properties available in Orange County. The region consists primarily of residential suburbs between Los Angeles and San Diego, but commercial offices have affected the area's economic success.

Orange County's office-vacancy rate fell from 20.4 percent in the second quarter of 2011 to 19.3 percent in the same time frame this year. The drop represents a significant milestone for the area, showing that more businesses have decided to set up shop in this region over the past 12 months.

"We're fairly confident Orange County has seen its bottom," a local housing market expert told the news outlet, referring to the area's real estate sales.

There are many factors that influence a business' decision to come to Orange County, including the following.

The median household income in Orange County
Many people seek employment opportunities where they can earn higher-than-average incomes. While a variety of jobs are available in Orange County, the area's median household income provides insight into how much people can earn if they live in this region.

The U.S. Census Bureau states that the median household income in Orange County was higher than the Golden State's average between 2006 and 2010. In Orange County, the median household income during this period was $74,344, while California's median household income was $60,883 during the same time frame.

Population growth
From April 1, 2010, to July 1, 2011, the 1.5 percent population growth in Orange County was 0.3 percent higher than the state average during this timespan. With more people moving to this county, home sales have increased, which has led to a rise in property values in the area.

Orange County house sales increased 23 percent between August 2011 and August 2012, the Orange County Register reports. Additionally, the median home price of an existing single-family residence rose 11.6 percent.

"Inventory levels are at the lowest levels we've seen in seven years, and we are starting to see the supply shortage conditions having a negative impact on sales in the Central Valley and the Inland Empire, where [real estate owned] properties are in short supply," a local real estate professional told the news source.