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Mantecas mini-boom
Home starts up 50%; bucks national, state trends
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It isn’t 2000’s torrid pace of 1,074 new housing starts but given the economic conditions Manteca is arguably in the middle of a mini-housing boom with 289 new single-family home housing starts in the first eight months of 2010.

Builders started 60 new homes in August for the best single month in at least six years. It is just over double the housing starts in July when builders began work on 29 new homes within Manteca’s city limits.

Manteca’s 50 percent jump from July to August for new housing starts is in stark contrast to national new housing starts that reflected a 1.8 percent increase going from 559,000 new starts in July to 569,000 in August based on U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development statistics.
It also is in sharp contrast to California as a whole. The California Building Industry Association reported starts for single family homes in August were down 15 percent from July dropping to 3,598 new starts

Actual housing units that have been completed or started so far this year in Manteca comes in at 341 units when the 52-unit subsidized senior housing complex known as the Magnolia Court apartments that broke ground in January behind Dribbles Car Wash on North Main Street is included in the count.

Manteca is on target to reach the predicted 350 hew housing starts for 2010 that both the city and developers anticipated at the start of the year.

August also marked the first month in nearly three years that Del Webb wasn’t the leading builder in Manteca when it came to housing starts. Pulte Homes started 17 homes at Del Webb at Woodbridge, just one less than at the various Woodside Homes neighborhoods in Manteca. Builders view that as a sign that the non-age restricted market is starting to pick up in Manteca.

New home buyers were looking for small homes back in February 2008 when the typical new home permit in Manteca was for a 1,577-square-foot home. By May of 2008 the average size of a new home being built climbed up to 1,760 square feet.

The typical new home start in Manteca during August averaged 2,396 square feet.

August to August comparisons show in 2009 the average new home cost $148,559 to build and in 2010 it cost $144,679 to underscore value pricing is driving sales. Many Manteca builders, though, are helped by the fact they have already written off the cost of developing finished lots after the housing market stalled. More than 600 finished lots remain giving Manteca at edge in the Northern San Joaquin valley housing market.

Del Webb last month became the first builder in more than three years to break ground on new lots. They are adding 49 lots costing $1.7 million in grading and infrastructure for the phase that extends Del Webb Woodbridge down to Lathrop Road.

The prices for Manteca new home construction do not reflect between $50,000 and $65,000 per home in growth fees and connection charges or the land costs and developer cost and profit.

In 2009, Manteca topped all San Joaquin Valley jurisdictions with 304 new homes built and sold. Next closest was Stockton at 120. Eight new homes were built in Modesto during 2009 while six were started in Tracy based on permits issued by various cities.