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Three promising signs for Manteca
New homes go up at Florsheim Homes’ Deer Park in southwest Manteca off Woodward Avenue and west of Airport Way. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Foreclosure cancellations are at an all-time high in California.

Lenders in Jane cancelled almost 22,000 foreclosures. That seems like good news for three possible reasons:

•More short sales are going through.

•Loan modifications are working.

•Banks are extending the time they are willing to work with delinquent borrowers.

The number of foreclosure cancellations is up 153.19 percent in year-to year comparisons and 27.09 percent above May levels.

Don’t break out the champagne yet. While foreclosures dropped in May they increased 6.7 percent across California in June.

There is a growing consensus, though, that  the foreclosure crisis in terms of sheer numbers will start ebbing in 2011 and nosedive in 2012 thanks to the final big wave of  problems hitting in the form of adjustable loans resetting that were made just as the so call-lead “liar loans” and no down loans started tanking.

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The current sales pace of new homes in Manteca is matching last year’s 304 that was by far the best performance of any community in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

Existing home sales are also expected to come close to last year’s record 1,211 closed deals. There have been 726 homes as of Aug. 17 sold so far in 2010. At that pace, 1,140 existing homes will have exchanged hands by year’s end.

While the sale pace has dropped a bit Manteca is still doing better than the vast majority of California communities.
Upward pressure on prices, though, isn’t going to happen any time soon.

Available existing homes for sale have been growing in Manteca going from 171 at the end of 2009 to 261 as of today. The fastest growing segment of Manteca listings is not foreclosures or short sales. They are homes that aren’t under duress.

There have been a lot of owners that want to sell who have stayed off the market waiting for things to stabilize. Non-foreclosures and non-short sales are starting to come back in growing numbers. However, there are more than a few people who may be trying to flip housing they just purchased.

The best example might just be at the Cherry Lane condos. A foreclosed 941-square-foot unit closed escrow this month for $50,000. Another unit with the same square footage and floor plan that is not bank owned or a short sale is on the market for $95,000. The original buyers when the bubble burst are long gone from the conversion of the apartments into condos.

The condo project is basically all-cash buyers or large down payments for conventional loan buyers.

The median price for resales so far this year is $185,000 for the 726 existing homes that have closed escrow.

It is up from last year’s median selling price of $178,000 and down slightly from the peak hit in May when the median selling price reached $187,500 in Manteca.

A survey of six real estate agents in Manteca over the past two weeks shows they believe the “vicinity of the bottom” has been reached in Manteca for the lower end and medium price ranges. If there is any deterioration in prices it will be minuscule. Meanwhile, agents are reporting a bit stringer prices in the lower end of the market.

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Most real estate agents are still marveling at how many homes are selling for less than what it would cost to build them today from scratch. Builders are squeezing costs to make affordable homes and turn a profit. So when you see a new builder entering the market given current conditions that is definitely a good sign.

That is why the strength of the new home market is good news even for those selling homes.

And now there is a new builder in Manteca.

K. Hovnanian Homes is the sixth largest homebuilder in the nation.  The firm has started work on three model homes on the northwest corner of South Main Street and Woodward Avenue in South Manteca.  Dubbed Medallion, the community will feature 55 homes with three distinct new home designs ranging from 1,886 to 2,358 square feet.  An interest list is forming for homebuyers seeking additional information on the community.

One- and two-story homes will be available at Medallion with home prices expected to start in the mid $200,000s.