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New homes up in size 27% since 2008
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There’s big news in Manteca new housing starts.

The 148 new homes built so far this year through July 31 in Manteca are 27 percent larger than they were in 2008.

The homes started so far in 2011 have an average of 2,904 square feet of living space.

At the peak of the housing boom in 2006, the average new home built in Manteca had 3,200 square feet.

As the prices shrunk in the overall market for both new and existing homes the size of new homes built also retreated.

By the time activity finally started picking up in February 2008 after 18 months of anemic sales, new home purchasers were buying homes that averaged 1,577 square feet. By May of 2008 the average size of a new home being built climbed up to 1,760 square feet. It reached 2,396 square feet by mid-2010.

At the start of this year, the demand for new homes larger than 4,000 square feet started picking up as well in Manteca. Atherton Homes sold six homes in excess of 4,000 square feet during the first two months of the year compared to just four in the 2 ½ previous years.

Realtors contacted by the Bulletin indicated it reflects a small but steady increase in confidence from buyers who can swing a move up purchase either by consummating the sale of their existing residence being able to buy a new home and then use their current one as a rental.

If the current market pace holds it will translate into 256 new home sales when the year ends. That would be almost exactly on the money for 2010 when there were 303 housing units built including a 52-unit low-income senior housing complex.