Imagine, if you well, if one of the first California ranch-style houses built in Manteca’s Shasta Park neighborhood had been built on a third of an acre, was just less than 2,000 square feet, and sold for $27,500 in 1963.
The price would have been a little bit high for Manteca based on prices 55 years ago but then again we are talking about what would have been a huge tract home lot for a Northern San Joaquin Valley community back then.
That home today — even though it hasn’t been structurally renovated since it was built — might get you $450,000.
If you listed the home for $1,688,000 you’d be called crazy. If someone actually bought it from you for $2,470,000 they’d be called insane. That’s exactly what happened in Sunnyvale just recently.
It’s important for you to know because it is the canary in the coal mine for future housing values in the inner Bay Area which in turn will reverberate into the outer Bay Area and ultimately into Tracy, Lathrop, and Manteca as the three cities represent the biggest beachhead of the “Bay Area-ification” of the Northern San Joaquin Valley housing market.
It doesn’t mean a home in the Powers Tract neighborhood that was built in the 1950s and is sandwiched between Manteca High and Spreckels Park will be fetching $1 million offers anytime soon. But it does underscore what the future holds.
Manteca and neighboring communities are being pulled in more and more by the gravitation of Bay Area housing market reality. New traditional single family home neighborhoods are nearing Dodo bird status. The job market is still booming. Housing is starting to go up more and more.
The Sunnyvale home benefited from four factors: a serious housing inventory shortage, large yard, artificially low price set to attract attention and arguably the biggie — close proximity to both Google and Apple.
Manteca, along with Tracy and Lathrop, benefit from the same factors but not at quite at such a stratospheric level. There is less than a 1.5-month housing inventory. Yards are fairly large. Compared to the Bay Area, prices are low in terms of what buyers are used to seeing in the Bay Area. And the biggie — this area is not only realatively close to the Bay Area but it’s also the best situated to accommodate new home building.
This means when the next slowdown comes, the lull and drop in value will be less intense. It is what has happened over the years in places such as Pleasanton and Livermore as the Bay Area economy grew and retracted.
This should make you more comfortable with future value potential when buying a home.
But more important it is a warning. If your goal is to stay in Manteca for the long haul and you’re still a renter you’d better give serious thought into buying now even if it is a 70-year-old starter home.
That’s because you’ll likely be priced out of Manteca if you continue to rent thanks to the seemingly ever expanding Bay Area economy.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org