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Condos double in value since 2008
The Cherry Lane Condos are now pushing $80,000. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

The biggest price rebound for housing in the Manteca market is also still the most affordable — the Cherry Lane Condos along Union Road.

The Cherry Lane Condos came on the market in September 2006 as the median resale price in Manteca hit $410,000. It was just $3,000 away from the market’s peak.

People were willing to pay $220,000 for heavily-aged 800-square-foot homes accessed from alleys.

That — and the fact almost nothing was available for under $300,000 — made the conversion of the apartments into condos at Union Road and Cherry Lane look appealing to those desperately trying to buy shelter.

It was a much different story two years later.

What was once the hottest residential property in Manteca was on the bottom of the heap in terms of the price at the close of escrow.

The condos that once sold for $233 per square foot went begging even as late as the second quarter of 2012 for as little as $39.50 per square foot.

Several units were being offered for sale in March 2012 ranging from $37,200 to $45,000. The lowest asking price represented an 83.14 percent decline in value in six years.

The Cherry Lane condo sellers were the most realistic after the housing bubble burst. In 2008, they quickly dropped to $60,000 — a drop twice as sharp as conventional housing — prompting a flurry of sales.

They hit bottom in January of 2010 when units that sold closed escrow for $44,900. At that point the condos had plunged 78.6 in value over four years compared to overall housing values in Manteca that had dropped 57 percent during the same time going from $413,000 to $178,000.

A 30-year loan for $40,000 plus annual taxes and insurance translated into $275 a month for a condo. That sounds great but there were only two big problems: You couldn’t get a FHA loan for them since the complex is more than 50 percent investor owned. And as for investors, they have to put a substantial amount down.

But even if someone put up $40,000 in cash or a combination of a loan and down payment, the units were renting in 2012 for excess of $700 providing $8,400 in cash a year making them appealing to some investors.

Today it’s a different story. The condos are fetching as much as $895 a month for almost a 25 percent increase in just over 30 months.

Condos have been selling. The latest fetched $79,900. They have more than doubled since they hit bottom.

Of course, they did fall from a peak of $220,000 to as low as $44,000. That was a 78.6 percent decline. At $79,900 they are still 63 percent off the historic peak in value.

Single family homes on the resale market in Manteca that have closed escrow by comparison are just over 30 percent off peak. They reached $413,000, plunged to $174,500, and have now rebounded to $286,700.

The condos are once again the affordable alternative for those getting  slowly squeezed out of the housing market where a two bedroom and one bathroom apartment at Laurel Glenn on Button Avenue in Manteca that went for $790 a month in 2005 is now commanding $1,188 a month.