Southern California is popularly known across the country for being home to some of the most exclusive neighborhoods and priciest homes, and real estate in Orange County is no exception. The county commonly tops lists of the most expensive places to live in the country, though since the economic crisis and the burst of the housing bubble, prices have fallen, making properties here within reach to at least a slightly few more buyers.

OrangeCountyUpdateAccording to the Orange County Register, the current Orange County real estate is seeing mixed signs across various communities. For a nearly three-week period ended Oct. 6, statistics showed 495 homes for sale in Orange County, up 16% from the year prior. The median price was at $685,000, a fall of only 1.9% from the price during the same period in 2008.

But upon closer examination of the county, regional differences can be seen. The southern part of the county showed the most positive signs, with 814 sales, up by 27% from 2008 volume, at a median price of just over $500,000, an increase also in the price from last year, though just by 0.2%. The northern part of the county had a lower median price, at $440,000, but that price was down 2.5% from last year's figures. This area saw 739 homes sold, up 6% from 2008. The mid-part of Orange County experienced the worst signals in recent weeks. Real estate in that region sold at a median price of $353,750, down by 0.2% from 2008 figures. Additionally, volume was down as well with 872 homes sold, a decrease of 10%.

Foreclosures have plagued the county's market as well. As of August, according to the Orange County Register quoting First American Corelogic, 6.9% of mortgage holders in the county were 90 days or more past due on their loans. The foreclosure rate in Orange County stands at 2.5%, up by 58% from 2008's rates but still lower than California's overall foreclosure rate of 3.5%.