Mountain House, when it comes to the price of tract resale homes, is the bellwether for San Joaquin County.
As of Friday there were 14 pending sales of pre-existing homes with contracts in excess of $1 million.
The most expensive tract resale home in Mountain House is in escrow for $1,280,000 with five bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms with 4,021 square feet.
Mountain House prices to a large degree are a function of location. The community of 19,005 abuts the Alameda and Contra Costa county lines. As such, it is the closest place to buy to the Bay Area based on the Interstate 580 umbilical cord. That means during heavy commute hours they are on the road 30 to 45 minutes less one direction than if they lived in Manteca.
Twenty-five miles to the east in Manteca’s Union Ranch on Clearwater Creek Boulevard a home with 41 less square feet, one more bedroom and five full bathrooms has gone pending for $795,000. It was built in 2015, a year later than the Mountain House home, and costs roughly a third less.
In San Jose, a tract home comparable to the Mountain House and Manteca home in age but not size has gone pending for $1,799,999. It has five bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms with roughly half the space at 2,191 square feet.
Those three examples explain why the Manteca-Lathrop-Ripon housing market continues to see rising prices as people head east to find more affordable housing.
Back in 1994 when the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors gave the green light to create the planned community of Mountain House northwest of Tracy, developers said they were hopeful that they would be able to build homes in the $200,000 to $300,000 range.
The first homes built in 2003 sold approached $400,000.
As ironic as it may sound even with the median resale price of 75 homes currently listed at $900,000 according to realtor.com, it still represents affordable housing based on prices east of the Altamont Pass.
Realtor.com as of Friday was reporting:
*248 homes listed in Manteca with a median asking price of $535,000.
*68 home listed in Lathrop with a median asking price of $550,000.
*219 homes listed in Tracy with a median asking price of $648,994.
*75 homes listed in Mountain House with a median asking price of $900,000.
*2,998 homes listed in San Jose with a median asking price of $1,088,849.
Back in the 1990s, the general rule was every mile you got closer to the heart of the Bay Area from the Northern San Joaquin Valley, home prices shot up $1,000.
Today that figure is closer to $2,000 a mile.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com