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Get ready for a 1% gain in resale housing prices
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Manteca median prices should be up by 1 percent in value by summer’s end.

Is that a risky prediction?

Not at all if you look at what is happening.

As of Monday there were 172 pending sales in Manteca with a median pending price of $179,994 based on the Multiple Listing Service.

That is equal to roughly a third of the 532 existing homes that have sold so far this year with a combined median price of $175,000.

It means the median price by the end of 2011 could almost reach what it was in 2009 when 1,211 homes sold at a median selling price of $178,000. That compares to $185,000 as 2010’s median price that was based on 1,193 resales.

No one is going to argue the market is going great guns. But there are two distinctive trends that can’t be ignored. First, Manteca is on pace for it’s third straight year of 1,100 plus existing homes being sold. Second the prices reflect a bouncing effect instead of a straight-line as many would anticipate the bottom of the market to be. A gently rolling progression of prices with slight dips and slight rises is what several long-time real estate agents in 2009 expected to happen based on their experience in the aftermath of the 1989-91 recession.

The steady pace of sales plus the wavy price trends are happening despite a 14 percent unemployment rate plus estimates of a shadow inventory of homes in various phases of foreclosure pushing 1,000 plus. It is also happening with an equally steady new home market closing right around 300 deals a year in Manteca in each of the three years that resales have topped 1,100.

It speaks volumes of the general Manteca economy’s resiliency given that the combination of high foreclosures and high unemployment elsewhere has been a recipe for almost a total collapse.

It has a lot to do with Manteca’s mix of agriculture, distribution, and bedroom commute status for the Bay Area where the job rich Silicon Valley is gaining strength. Manteca appeals to those with the means to relocate thanks to its location as underscored by Del Webb at Woodbridge’s sales performance over the past three years. Location and being positioned to take advantage of the next round of distribution growth also helps.