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New Manteca homes regain square footage
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Big is back.

The average new home built in Manteca during 2013 averaged 2,912 square feet. That’s 214 square feet smaller than the historic average of 3,126 square feet reached in 2003.

 The square footage and other trends gleaned from the City of Manteca building permit report reflect a steady and rebounding new home market.

Manteca builders from the early days of the recession in 2007 through 2011 built more single family homes each year than all other jurisdictions in San Joaquin County combined. The city still is leading the way but builders have been slowed down by a shrinking inventory of buildable lots.

That is expected to change this year as builders rev back up including Raymus Homes that has been sidelined in terms of big housing projects since the recession began. They’re doing site work for Oleander Estates in South Manteca with a target of having lots ready to build on by mid-year.

The 297 homes either built or started in 2013 with an average of 2,912 square feet is a far cry from 2006. More homes were built – 329 to be exact — but the average size dipped below 2,000 square feet for the first time since 1997.

In the first three months of 2006 — the start of the Great Recession — the average square footage of a Manteca home came in at 1,410 square feet. Few two-story homes were built except in neighborhoods designed with smaller lots in order to be more affordable. The size was driven by what people could afford to buy.

The 297 housing starts is nowhere near the record year of 2002 when $191.1 million in new construction was built including 803 homes. The historical high for new homes was in 2000 when 1,074 were built.

Builders, though, see Manteca housing starts pushing the 500-mark in 2014.

That’s based on a tightening market in the Bay Area where demand is already outpacing building.