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Big is back: Home size creeps up

Average square footage double that of early 2006

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Big is back: Home size creeps up

Framer Hugo Mendoza of CDC Construction works on a Bright home in the Pomelo Grove subdivision off Woodward Avenue in south Manteca.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED July 26, 2013 1:56 a.m.

The shrinking Manteca home has disappeared.

There were 170 new homes started in Manteca during the first six months of the year. They had an average size of 2,828 square feet.

 It’s a far cry from the first three months of 2006 — the start of the Great Recession — when the average square footage of a Manteca home came in at 1,410 square feet. Few two-story homes were built except in neighborhoods designed with smaller lots in order to be more affordable. The size was driven by what people could afford to buy. And the only people buying new homes in the first part of 2006 were first-time buyers with the financial wherewithal to handle a mortgage.

The average size is now inching up toward the historic high of 3,126 square feet reached in 2003.

Manteca didn’t build a tract home in excess of 2,600 square feet until Raymus Homes rolled out a then gigantic 2,800-square-foot home in Chadwick Square in northwest Manteca in 1998. Fourteen months later the first production home topping 3,000 square feet was built by Atherton Homes with their largest — the Larkspur at Woodward Park —  hitting 3,317 square feet.

Atherton Homes broke the 4,000-square-foot barrier a year later only to be eclipsed within months by Florshseim Homes’ model pushing 4,500 square feet in the Rose Garden neighborhood.

The priciest tract home ever sold new in Manteca wasn’t a Florsheim behemoth. Instead, it was a home in Heritage Ranch near Cowell School in East Manteca. Seeno Homes’ 4,336-square-foot model home on Pestana Avenue closed escrow for $750,000 in 2005. Four years later, a similar home model on Vasconcellos Avenue sold for $230,000. The 69 percent drop in value still stands as a record plunge for a specific Manteca single family home model.

While homes on average are getting bigger there are less two-story homes being built than before the Great Recession. That’s because new home builders report buyers prefer larger floor plans that are kept to one level.

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