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Strongest new home market in two decades
new homes almonds
As new homes in the mid-$500,000 range are being built as part of the Raymus Homes’ Passport Collection go up along the eastern city limits off of Louise Avenue, neighboring farmland is planted with new almond trees.

Manteca’s current building pace has the city on target to top 700 new homes by year’s end.

There were 104 new homes started in the first two months of 2021 — 51 in January and 53 in February. At the start of March, there were 71 new homes that were sold that were having their building permit applications reviewed.

That means by the end of the month, Manteca will likely have started 175 homes compared to 100 for the same three months in 2020 or a 75 percent year-to-year jump in new home starts.

If that pace to date this year continues to the end of 2021, the number of new home starts will hit 700.

But based on the building pace the started in April 2020, Manteca is on target to exceed 810 new single family homes being started in 2021.  That would exceed the 803 homes built in the second highest year on record in 2002.

December through February typically is the lowest months of the year for new home sales. And while some builders such as Atherton Homes that have run out of buildable lots they — along with three other developers — have broken ground or are moving toward ground breaking in the coming weeks on four new neighborhoods.

Manteca ended 2020 issuing 644 permits for new single family homes. That was the fifth largest annual number of housing starts going back at least 35 years.

In the past five years Manteca has built or started 3,183 new homes or an average of 636 houses a year.

That is less that the five-year period from 2000 to 2004 when 3,887 new homes were built including 2000 when a record 1,075 new homes were built. The annual average for the five years was 777 homes a year.

Keep in mind none of the numbers in this story include apartment units or other multi-family housing types that were built. If you added apartment units, the number of dwelling units built or started from 2016 to 2020 would total 3,690 and from 2000 to 2004 it would total 4,185.

Manteca builders ended 2020 by setting a new record for December home starts at 75. It reflects a 158 percent jump over December of 2019 when permits for 29 new homes were issued. There were 18 new homes built in December of 2018.

Low interest rates, continued hiring at Bay Area tech firms and a work-at-home trend triggered by COVID-19 that is expected to continue to a large degree for at least part of the work week for many tech employees once the pandemic lockdowns end. That is prompting people to move out of urban centers such as San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose where they have been renting and into the suburbs where they have been buying.

Various surveys conducted by real estate tracking firms show that the much ballyhooed exodus from the core Bay Area is not out of state as much as it is to the suburbs.  While some of those buyers land east of the Altamont Pass others are buying in places such as Fremont, Brentwood, Dublin, Pleasanton, San Ramon and Livermore pushing people out of those housing markets and into the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

That pressure has created the strongest Manteca new home market in nearly three decades when the 3,887 homes were built between 2000 and 2004 for an average of 777 homes a year. Assuming 700 homes are built this year the five-year average from 2017 through 2021 would hit 606, for the second biggest five-year home building period since the early 1980s.

Based on typical yields of residents per new homes, 700 new home sales could add in excess of 2,300 people to push the city’s population past 90,000.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email