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4th straight month of 30 plus new housing starts
August was the best month for new housing starts in Manteca in more than two years with construction starting on 37 new homes.

It was the fourth straight month Manteca has recorded more than 30 housing starts. That means 124 homes have started in the last three months which is more than three times the monthly pace of the prior 15 months.

Housing starts are now up to 199 homes in 2009 through the end of August. Closed escrows on resale homes within the city limits during the same time period hit 818 and are on pace to exceed last year’s record 1,165 closed deals. Even if the new home pace slows down, Manteca is now on target to end 2009 with the highest number of transactions of home sales – both new and resale - in eight years as the total could exceed 1,500 transactions.

 Not only are more homes being built but they are getting larger as well.

The typical new home built in Manteca five years ago was just shy of 3,000 square feet.

Then at the bottom of the new housing market when 10 permits were issued in February 2008 the average size fell to 1,577 square feet.

City building statistics from last month show the typical home start in Manteca now is averaging 2,494 square feet.

The jump in home starts means Manteca’s new home pace is a bit better than in 2008 when 238 new homes were built in Manteca. The current pace, if it holds, will end 2009 with 299 new homes in Manteca.

As of Monday there have been 818 deals closed on existing homes within Manteca’s city limits so far in 2009. It reflects a sales pace of 3.4 homes a day. If the trend holds 1,229 homes will close escrow by year’s end. That would surpass the record 1,165 existing homes sold in 2008.

New home builders are crediting three things for the uptick in new home sales:

•The $8,000 first-time buyers federal tax credit that is good for any home that goes into escrow before Dec. 1 of this year and as long as the buyer hasn’t owned a home in the previous three years.

•The $10,000 state tax credit for buying a new home which funding is now exhausted

•The lowest prices in more than a decade.