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As the demand for housing grows and as more families leave the Bay Area for the more affordable San Joaquin Valley, median home prices in neighboring San Joaquin County — the next stop just east of the Altamont Pass — are skyrocketing, according to local realtors.

Between April 2020 and April 2021, the county’s median home price jumped 24 percent, from $390,000 to $490,000.

There are several reasons for the large spike in the county’s median home price, according to Michael Pinheiro, a realtor in Alameda County, where many of his clients are desiring to leave for more affordable San Joaquin County.

Pinheiro said developers cannot build the homes fast enough, so there is a lack of inventory while at the same time, the construction permitting process is not getting completed quickly enough for the new inventory to be built.

Homebuilders are having trouble keeping up with the demand for new homes.

Pinheiro explained that residents are moving out of the Bay Area and to places like San Joaquin County due to its proximity to Interstate 5, California’s main north-south route.

By contrast, an 11,000-house master planned community, River Islands, is being built in Lathrop, which is close to not only Interstate 5 but to Interstates 205 and 580, the direct east-west route between San Joaquin County and the Bay Area.

The community currently has about 2,000 housing units. An additional 9,000 units will be built during the next decade.