After bouncing back from the housing crisis, Orange County is a mortgage employment powerhouse once more.

Recently released quarterly jobs data reveal that Orange County leads the nation in two critical home-loan related employment categories. Private lenders at real estate credit businesses, not banks or credit unions, employed 9,599 people in June, the latest month for which accurate data is available. Coming in second place in this category was Dallas County, Texas. Orange County also boasts the most mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers, with 4,793 employed in this category, almost twice the number employed in the runner-up, Los Angeles County.

While Orange County has always been a national center for mortgage issuers, the results have not always been positive. Many mortgage trends, like lending to borrowers with subprime credit and bundling loans to sell to investors, were pioneered in Orange County. That pioneering spirit can still be seen in the many independent mortgage companies and the large mortgage divisions of traditional banks that do business in Orange County.

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Mortgage innovations like those pioneered in Orange County started to unravel about a decade ago. High-risk lending practices, including many invented by large OC-based lenders, played their part in creating a housing bubble that led to the real estate market collapse.

As the housing market has started to recover, however, so too has the local mortgage-issuing business. Orange County real estate lenders increased their staff size by 71 percent in the last three years, much greater than the 4 percent employment growth measured nationwide. Dallas County, on the other hand, saw real estate lending businesses cut their staffs by 20 percent over the same period.

The number of mortgage brokers in Orange County has increased by 60 percent since 2012. Nationally, the growth of employment among mortgage brokers was only 23 percent. The practices that led to the real estate meltdown have not made a similar comeback. Easy-money loans have yet to return, and getting a mortgage is difficult even for borrowers with good credit.

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The real estate credit business in Orange County is growing fast, and is an important pillar of the local economy. Orange County employed 5.5 percent of the nation’s 80,606 loan-brokers and about 4 percent of the country’s 215,538 local loan brokers last year.

A major draw of the mortgage industry is higher paychecks than the average weekly wage of $1,057 received by workers in Orange County. The average weekly paycheck for real estate credit workers was $2,087 in the second quarter of 2015, 17 percent more than the average of $1,781 received by the same workers nationally. Local loan brokers in Orange County earned an average of $2,093 per week, or 13 percent more than the national average in their employment category.

While employment in the mortgage industry has improved, it is nowhere near its pre-crash levels. At the peak of the real estate market in 2005, Orange County real estate credit companies employed more than 17,000 workers, while local loan brokers employed more than 12,500.

If you’re looking for a luxury home in a county with the best mortgage brokers in the country, contact one of our real estate professionals today.

While you’re searching, take a look at our available properties priced from $2 Million to $5 Million.

  1. 6 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 7,956 sq ft
    Lot size: 43,560 sqft
  2. 6 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 5,400 sq ft
    Lot size: 40,000 sqft
  3. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,745 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.57 ac
  4. 7 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 4,971 sq ft
    Lot size: 43,560 sqft
  5. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 8,100 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.60 ac

See all City of Orange Luxury Homes For Sale.
(all data current as of 10/17/2017)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.