Winter is historically the slow month for home building.
But that isn’t the case this year in Manteca.
If all of the single family home permits in review as of Feb. 28 are issued by the end of this month, Manteca builders will have started 107 new homes in the first three months of 2016.
If the pace doesn’t pick up — although it usually does as the temperature rises — Manteca is on target to start at least 428 new single family homes this year.
There are indications, however, that the number of homes that will be started this year in Manteca could easily surpass 500. The last time more than 500 homes were built in Manteca was in 2006 when there were 549 new homes added
The current numbers reflect builders that have buildable lots to sell.
Three builders are in the process of getting lots ready to build on and sell for new homes. The expectation is they will be ready to move forward by summer. The builders are:
uDeNova Homes is building Bello Estates where a 30-acre almond orchard once stood behind homes in the triangle formed by Louise Avenue, Airport Way, and the railroad tracks. It will have 117 homes.
uWoodside Homes is moving forward with Woodward Estates south of Woodward Avenue between Oleander Avenue and South Union Road. The 16.73-acre subdivision will have 77 homes.
uAtherton Homes is preparing to create additional buildable lots along Pillsbury Road south of Woodward Avenue.
The homes being built in Manteca are also getting bigger.
The average new home built in Manteca broke the 3,000-square-foot barrier for the first time ever in 2015.
The average square footage of the 253 single family homes built last year was 3,099 square feet. That’s 389 more square feet than the national average of 2,720 square feet. And it’s up more than 200 square feet than Manteca’s average for 2015.
Manteca, like the national trend, had roughly half of the homes that were built sport four or more bedrooms while a quarter had garages big enough for three or more cars.
Ironically in 2008 at the depth of the housing crisis the average new Manteca home that was built had 1,850 square feet compared to 2,360 square feet nationally.
Builders national and regionally are noticing the new housing market is seeing less and less first-time buyers including those that can handle the rising prices. Nationally first-time buyers represented 32 percent of the entire housing market in 2015. The National Association of Realtors says that is the lowest level in 30 years.
As a result there was a discussion at the International Builders’ Show this year on how to attract younger buyers to purchase single family homes. Among suggestions bantered about where offering amenities that mirror high-priced rental communities such as clubhouses and swimming pools. Also on the list were smaller homes with larger yards.
Both of those ideas have been incorporated into Trumark Homes’ 492-lot Shadowbrook neighborhood expected to break ground this year west of Cottage Avenue on land bounded by Louise Avenue, Southland Road and Highway 99 in Manteca. Depending upon the date when site works start, lots may not be ready to sell until late summer at the earliest.