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Homes: Best month in 5 years
47 new homes started in June in Manteca
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June was the best month for new single family home starts in Manteca since 2005.

Builders were issued permits to start 47 new homes in June. That brought the total for the first six months of the year to 200 new homes. Overall, 252  new housing units have been started between January and June once the 52-unit affordable senior citizens complex dubbed Magnolia Court that is being built behind Burger King and Dribbles Car Wash on North Main Street is factored into the equation. Manteca’s growth limit of 3.9 percent a year is based on all housing units and not just single family homes.

Builders credit the surge to increased buyer activity based on strengthening consumer confidence as those who wished to obtain the federal tax credit had to be in escrow by April 30. All 47 homes are deals made after the application period for the tax credit ended.

There is still a $10,000 state home buyer’s credit available. Although the amount is limited, once a house enters escrow the credit is reserved.

Manteca continues to lead the Northern San Joaquin Valley in new housing starts. But perhaps more telling is the size of the homes.

At the height of the housing market last decade, the average home built in Manteca topped 3,050 square feet.

The average new home size started retreating in 2007 and hit a decade low average of 1,577 square feet in February 2008. That size was more in tune with the 1970s in Manteca when single-story shake roof home such as those built around Shasta Park were all the rage.

Last month, Manteca issued 42 permits for new homes. The average square footage was 2,341 square feet or just 20 square feet more than homes being built in Manteca during the first month of this century.

This time around, though, the demand is for larger single story homes instead of having the square footage collapsed in a two-story plan. While all of the sales at Del Webb at Woodbridge - which accounts for about a quarter of the Manteca housing starts - are one story homes, other builders surveyed indicated more than 70 percent of their buyers are going with single stories. That is the exact opposite of what was happening in the middle of the housing boom in Manteca.

Resale homes up
$7,000 in value
New home construction for the first six months of 2010 accounted for $73.5 million of the overall building activity of $88.5 million

The new home sales are not slowing down resale escrow closings as some contend.

As of July 5, there had been 595 existing homes that were resold. If the pace continues, that means 1,173 existing homes will close escrow by year’s end. That compares with 1,211 in 2009 and 1,165 in 2008. Prior to that in 2007 there were only 402 existing homes that resold within Manteca’s city limits.

More important for people worried about home values, the median price peaked at $345,000 in 2007, dropped to $225,000 in 2008, hit bottom at $178,000 in 2009 and has now bounced back up to $185,000.