Curious about the Orange County real estate market and the direction it is headed? You aren’t alone. I’ve rounded up 5 of the most interesting trends the OC real estate and mortgage market is facing for the remainder of the year.

1. The mortgage loan process will continue to remain difficult, but not impossible. Expect to face heightened levels of documentation and verification in order to be approved for a loan.

2. Mortgage applications for buying a South OC home will become a greater part of the market, while refinancing activity looks like it will continue to drop.

3. Jumbo loans are back — and attractive, once again. Jumbo loans, or loans over $729,750 in Orange County, faced higher mortgage rates in 2009 and most of 2010. Recently, the mortgage rates on jumbo loans decreased and the spread between conforming rates and jumbo has narrowed.

4. All-cash purchases will take up a bigger part of the OC real estate market. In 2010, all cash purchases represented 25% of all existing home purchases. Thanks to bargain REO’s and other distressed sales, that number is expected to increase throughout 2011.

5. Mortgage rates will likely rise. Even with the national economy as shaky as it is, most economists predict that rates will rise slowly but surely ending around 5.5-6& in 2012.

With the Orange County real estate market showing signs of growth, along with signs of stalling, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed! As long as you have a knowledgable, experienced real estate agent by your side, you will be able to weather any uncertainty. Call Cheryl Marquis of Altera Properties TODAY and feel comfortable knowing that you are in safe hands.