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Most affordable new home is $300K cheaper than same home in Livermore
New homes being built in an Atherton neighborhood south of the 120 Bypass. - photo by Bulletin file photo

New home construction is on track to rack up its third biggest year for new housing starts in Manteca since 1985.

And based on prices of traditional single family homes in Morgan Hill, Livermore, and Dublin/Pleasanton where the most affordable new homes are a minimum of $300,000 higher than in Manteca, local home builders anticipate Manteca will continue to attract more buyers as the city along with other South San Joaquin County and Northern Stanislaus County communities expand their role as the de facto affordable housing option for the Bay Area.

Builders were issued permits by the city through June 30 to start 395 new single family homes. If the pace continues by the time 2018 ends the number of starts will hit 790. The only two years since the 3.9 percent growth cap was imposed that had more housing starts were 2000 with 1,075 new homes and 2002 with 803.

The figures do not include apartment units or duplexes.

Among the new neighborhoods being built Raymus Homes offers the lowest base price for a 1,809 square-foot model in Rina’s Grove off of South Main Street starting at $392,000. The highest base price is being offered by Atherton Homes in Solera off of Pillsbury Road  with 3,751 square feet (it can be taken up to 4,031 square feet) starting at $579,990.

The Raymus pricing continues a family tradition of trying to offer the most affordable new home offerings in Manteca that started with the late Antone Raymus.

All other builders have their smallest footprint floorplans starting in the low $400,000s.

By contrast the median selling price of existing homes that have closed escrow in Manteca so far this year is $396,700.

Foot traffic — potential buyers looking at buying new homes — is on the upswing at new Manteca neighborhoods as well as at River Islands in Lathrop where base home prices are comparable to those being built in Manteca.

The back to back years of robust home appreciation — it was just over 6 percent in the past year and just under 49 percent gain since 2008 when sales started picking up after the mortgage crisis caused prices to plunge — has prompted small builders (essentially independent contractors) to start tearing down older dilapidated houses or take vacant lots within the established section of Manteca to build new homes. Two such projects are now underway on Alameda Street.

Not only has building activity been picking up south of the 120 Bypass, but Trumark is moving forward with a 495-home age restricted neighborhood on Louise Avenue abutting Highway 99 west of Cottage Avenue. It is where there is a partial road closure on Louise Avenue to allow the installation of a roundabout in lieu of traffic signals at the main entrance to the new neighborhood.

New home sales at TruLiving Manteca to those 55 and older are expected to be underway by January.

Based on new neighborhoods that have broken ground in the past several months and if the market holds, new home sales will likely be even greater in 2019.

Working in favor of that scenario is the drying up of traditional single family new home options in the Bay Area west of the Altamont Pass as well as to the south of San Jose where cities have a much more aggressive growth cap.

The lowest priced new home in Morgan Hill south of San Jose is $729,630 — almost 60 percent higher than the lowest new home offering in Manteca.

You can buy a new home for a little cheaper in Livermore — $700,000 — while the low end in Dublin/Pleasanton start at $975,000 for a free standing single family home. Homes on the scale of the largest model Atherton is building in Manteca start at $895,000 in Livermore and $972,000 in Dublin/Pleasanton.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email