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New homes gaining strength
June is best month in Manteca in over a year
A roofer works on a Woodside Home house under construction on Vasco Street. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Manteca enjoyed its most robust month for housing starts in over a year in June as 34 new homes broke ground.

A survey of developers revealed cautious optimism that they could end up pulling permits for about 320 housing units over the course of the next 12 months.

It reflects a trend reported by the California Building Industry Association that month-to-month new home sales are improving although in year-to-year comparison sales are down statewide. There were 3,019 new homes and condos sold in new subdivisions in May. That was up from April figures but down from May 2008 when the sales number was at 4,094 units.

The typical new home built in Manteca five years ago was just shy of 3,000 square feet.

Then at the bottom of the new housing market when 10 permits were issued in February 2008 the average size fell to 1,577 square feet.

New housing starts in June 2008 saw the average size climb up a bit to 1,760 square feet. City building statistics from last month show the typical home start in Manteca now is averaging 2,722 square feet.

While home sizes have bounced back what hasn’t are building costs. It cost $25,000 more to build an additional 1,000 square feet last month compared to the cost in June 2008. And it is only $31,000 more to build the 2,722 square foot home last month than it did the 1,577 square foot home in February 2008.

June to June comparisons show in 2008 the average new home cost $136,616 to build and in 2009 it cost $148,559. Those prices 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.

Ninety-one homes have broken ground in Manteca in April, May and June in Manteca.

It reflects an upswing in new home sales as it took builders from September to April – eight months – to sell that many homes.

At the same time existing home sales are holding steady - despite a three-quarters percent bump in interest rates- thanks in part to a backlog of 217 pending sales.

As of Wednesday there have been 650 deals closed on existing homes within Manteca’s city limits so far in 2009. It reflects a sales pace of 3.47 homes a day. If the trend holds 1,266 homes will close escrow by year’s end. That would surpass the record 1,165 existing homes sold in 2008.

Even with the jump in home starts in June, Manteca’s new home pace is slightly better than 2008 when 238 new homes were built in Manteca. The current pace, if it holds, will end 2009 with 252 new homes in Manteca.