The current state of the Orange County housing market

Moving companies likely have been busy in Orange County, especially due to the current state of the area's housing market. While many homes for sale in Orange County are still available, this region has displayed substantial growth over the past few months that could result in fewer options for property buyers.

In August 2012, the Orange County housing market experienced its biggest percentage gain in total residential property sales, the Orange County Register reports. A real estate data and solutions firm released a report indicating that home sales in this area increased 20 percent between August 2011 and August 2012. Additionally, the 3,337 residential units that were sold last month represent the second-highest sales total for any month since June 2010.

The news outlet notes that lower interest rates and an improving economy have influenced many homebuyers' decisions to move to Orange County. Take a look at how these factors have helped the area's housing market flourish.

Lower-than-average interest rates readily available to many property buyers
Many homebuyers are taking advantage of below-average interest rates available on 30- and 15-year fixed-term mortgages. These allowances are helping many property buyers purchase their dream homes with monthly payments that can stay the same every month for the duration of their loans.

Freddie Mac states that the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-term mortgage was 3.55 percent as of September 13, 2012.

Meanwhile, the source reports that the average interest rate on a 15-year fixed-term allowance was 2.85 percent as of September 13, 2012. With this kind of loan, property buyers may have higher monthly payments than they would with a 30-year mortgage, but will be able to pay off the loan sooner.

Economic improvements in Orange County
The national economy continues to improve after the recession that hit the country in the late 2000s, and Orange County is no exception.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the civilian labor force for the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) that contains Santa Ana, Anaheim and Irvine has grown from 1,624,700 workers to 1,626,900 employees between March 2012 and July 2012. Additionally, this MSA's jobless rate has dropped from 8.2 percent to 7.9 percent during the same time frame.

With more residents contributing to the local economy, Orange County and its housing market could continue to thrive.