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Family City commands highest average apartment rents along Highway 99 corridor in north SJ Valley
Tidewater Landing
The Tidewater Landing on Lathrop Road where one bedroom rents are $2,295.

Manteca is the  most expensive place to rent an apartment along the Highway 99 corridor in the three-county Northern San Joaquin Valley region.

The average apartment in 2023 in Manteca rented for $2,087 a month.

That is:

*$428 more a month than Modesto at $1,659.

*$487 more a month than Stockton at $1,600.

*$500 more a month than Turlock at $1,587.

*$627 more a month than Merced at $1,460.

The Northern San Joaquin Valley encompasses San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties with cities on the Highway 99 starting with Lodi in the north and ending with Merced in the south.

Ripon, with a dearth of larger apartment complexes used to compile market data by Rent Cafe, is $9 less a month than Manteca. The average monthly apartment rent in Ripon is $2,079 compared to $2,087 for Manteca.

And if you use the freeway commuter corridor starting in San Jose and ending in Manteca, the Family City has the lowest rent by a $309 margin.

Average rents in Manteca are:

*$874 less a month than San Jose at $2,961.

*$741 less a month than Pleasanton at $2,828.

*$484 less a month than Livermore at $2,571.

*$309 less a month than Tracy at $2,396.

Lathrop’s first large apartment complex started leasing last year. And while that skews the numbers somewhat, the average rent in Lathrop was $2,591.

That meant Manteca’s average rent was $504 less than Lathrop.

Rents in most areas in the Bay Area as well as the exburbs such as Tracy and Manteca dropped during 2023 in terms of average dollars paid a month.

Manteca did not, as it went up $55.

San Jose dropped $70 to being average rents below $3,000.

They dropped $63 in San Francisco bringing the average rent down to $3,267.

Tracy dropped $59, Livermore $12, Stockton $3, and Modesto $42.

Rents went up $5 on average in Sacramento to $1,850 or $237 less a month in Manteca.


Bulletin survey shows Manteca

rents rose 3.7 percent in 2023


The Bulletin’s 33rd annual rent survey of larger apartment complexes indicated in 2023:

*Rent increases slowed down, but still increased overall by an average 3.7 percent.

*The rent average was a record $2,089.

*The year-to-year average rent increase of $55 was the second highest in the Northern San Joaquin Valley in terms of actual dollars. Turlock topped Manteca at $59.

*Rent increases in the upper echelon of the Manteca market — those complexes where rents of units had already topped $2,000 saw either minimal increases or no gain.

*Low-tier and middle-tier priced apartments saw the biggest gains.

*There were specific instances where individual apartment complexes were overaggressive in 2022 with the pricing of floorplans, forcing them last year to bring them down in closer alignment with the competition.

*The most expensive apartment to rent in Manteca is a three-bedroom, two bathroom until at Paseo Villas at Atherton Drive and Van Ryn Avenue at $2,995.

It edged out a three bedroom, two bathroom unit at the city’s newest complex — The Tidewater Landing on Lathrop Road west of Union Road — that came in at $2,950.

Average rents have stalled but have never gone down in the 33 years of the Builetin’s survey.

Selected floor plans, though, at a handful of complexes have dipped slightly for a year.

Rents even increased during the foreclosure crisis given people losing their homes had to live somewhere.

The average rent in Manteca has climbed every year since 2010 with no pausing.

The 13.5 percent rent hike in 2015 is the highest on record.

Since then, rents went up an average of

*6.0 percent in 2016.

*2.4 percent in 2017

*7.8 percent in 2018

*7.1 percent in 2019

*7.1 percent in 2020

*6.0 percent in 2021

*5.1 percent in 2022

*3.7 percent in 2023

To illustrate how in the long run rents will always keep up with or exceed the price of homes, 21 years ago a two bedroom and one bedroom apartment at Laurel Glen on Button Avenue rented for $825.

Today it rents for $1,899 to $2,075 depending upon the unit’s location within the complex. Those nearest the Highway 99 freeway rent for less.

The Atherton — Manteca’s largest complex at 428 units — is home to the city’s priciest studio apartment.

The complex on Atherton Drive next to Bass Pro Shops is where you will find a 545 square-foot studio for $1,996 a month.

To put that $1,996 a month for a studio into perspective, $1,265 is what a three bedroom, two bathroom unit in the Stonegate Apartment complex on Center Street rented for in 2004. The large Stonegate unit was the priciest in Manteca 20 years ago.

Even the studios in the Woodside Village complex built in the 1970s adjacent to Stonegate exceed the highest 2004 apartment rent in Manteca. The Woodside Village studios, when they are available, rent for $1,480 to $1,550 a month.



55 percent of Manteca’s

apartments rent for $2,000+


In terms of the percentage of apartment units in a market exceeding $2,000 a month in 2023, Manteca was at 55 percent.

The next largest concentration of rents in Manteca was between $1,501 and $2,000 a unit, Just 1 percent of units in complexes with 10 or more units rented for less than $1,500.

Tracy, by comparison, has 87 percent of its units rent for more than $2,000.

The percentage for Livermore was 96 percent, Pleasanton 97 percent, San Jose 95 percent, Lathrop 82 percent, Ripon 56 percent, Sacramento 26 percent, Stockton 11 percent, Modesto 11 percent, and Turlock 5 percent.


Two bedroom units

are most affordable

Although it seems counterintuitive, the two bedroom configurations that rent anywhere between $130 and $480 more per month than single bedroom units in the same complex are considered the most affordable.

That’s because a spot check with various complexes as well as data compiled by banks that underwrite construction loans for apartment complexes show the vast majority of those renting the two bedroom floor plans are unrelated and are not in committed relationships.

As such it essentially halves the rent.

A solo renter in a one bedroom at Paseo at Atherton Drive and Van Ryn Avenue for example pays $1,995 a month if they opt not to include a garage while two separate renters splitting the cost of a $2,295 two bedroom, two bathroom unit in the same complex are paying $1,147.50 a month each.

It is why more than half or 222 of the 428 units at The Atherton are two bedroom and two bathroom apartments. That is essentially the market’s answer to affordable renting.


 Renters never stabilize

their housing costs

At the depth of the Great Recession triggered by the housing price collapse attributed to liar loans, rents went up while home sale prices tanked.

That’s because those walking away from foreclosed homes had to live somewhere and since they weren’t in a position to buy they rented.

And while there was a time when some houses rented for less than many apartments, rents on apartments never dropped during the Great Recession although rent increases stalled for several years.

Many scoffed at those buying homes in 2008 when home sales started picking up steam. They argued prices hadn’t reached bottom yet and they hadn’t. That wouldn’t occur for two more years.

What happened though was when prices started accelerating and those that dismissed buying a home until prices hit bottom suddenly found themselves competing with not just the return of the Bay Area buyer that all but disappeared during the recession but speculators and even out-of-state investment firms eager to enlarge their home rental portfolio in a rebounding California.

A renter in 2008 paying $820 for a two bedroom, one bedroom bath could bUy foreclosed homes — many as new as the 1970s — for under $110,000. That made the monthly mortgage payment basically the saMe as renting at the time.

Now that same apartment is commanding roughly $1,000 more a month in rent in the Manteca housing market.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email