Manteca could be approaching historic highs in the number of new home sales.
After plugging along in the first eight months of 2020 breaking ground on 30 to 52 new homes a month, new home sales in Manteca jumped just shy of 40 percent from 50 in August to 89 in September as reflected in building permits issued by the City of Manteca.
Sales also have resulted with the city having 94 permits for new homes currently in review.
If the uptick in new housing demand continues, it will reflect an annual sales pace of 1,128 homes. That eclipsed the 1999 mark of 1,064 but would by shy of the 1,400 record for a year reached in 1980.
The noticeable impact is less as Manteca in 1999 had 49,645 residents and in 1980 had 24,925 residents. There are 85,000 people living in Manteca today. Based on the homes started or in the permitting que for the first 10 months of 2020, Manteca using a yield factor of 2.7 people per new home will grow by at least 1,400 people this year.
The trend in Manteca mirrors that in Lathrop. Accelerating sales since June at River Islands alone puts that planned community of 11,000 plus homes on pace to sell 945 homes a year. Toss in the rest of Lathrop and if the current selling demand continues, the two cities by this time next year will have sold enough housing to swell the population of the two communities by almost 2,900 people.
To put that in perspective that is almost the equivalent pf the combined student body of both Manteca and East Union high schools. It is also roughly the fifth of the population of Ripon that is now pushing 16,000 residents.
The driving force behind sales in both Manteca and Lathrop — as well as other South County hot spots such as Tracy and Mountain House — include:
*Historic low interest rates for 30-year mortgages that were at 2.96 percent this week.
*Bay Area firms led by the tech sector allowing employees to do much of their work from home. The trend has negated the impact and cost of commuting making it feasible for young families forking over often more than $3,500 a month to rent apartments or older homes west of the Altamont Pass to trade it for mortgages costing less for a new home with more living space.
*Manteca and Lathrop’s unique position within the acceptable Bay Area commute range of having infrastructure that is readily absorb growth along with non-existent growth caps such as Lathrop or a cap that is more generous such as Manteca’s than you will find in most areas that serve as the Bay Area outer suburbs including Ripon and Tracy.
*The ability to take Altamont Corridor Express trains to employment centers such as San Jose and the adjoining Silicon Valley.
*A desire expressed by some buyers to move away from Bay Area crowding given how the pandemic has altered the landscape.
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