Lathrop — the youngest city in San Joaquin County — is now the proverbial million-dollar baby when it comes to new home sales.
As the city celebrates its 23rd year of incorporation, three new tract homes in excess of $1 million are in escrow.
The homes — in the 3000 block of Garden Farms Avenue in the 15,001-home planned River Islands community — have pending contracts.
It means Lathrop is the second city in San Joaquin County to have new tract homes — as opposed to custom homes — on traditional sized city lots commanding seven figure prices. The first was Tracy.
The three homes range in size from 2,786 square feet with four bedrooms and three bathrooms for $1,012,420 to 3,176 square feet with five bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms for $1,074,217.
It’s unlikely anyone that voted for the official incorporation that happened in 1989 with 6,841 residents envisioned what is taking place today.
Back then Lathrop was a mixture of older homes with several modern-style subdivisions.  The median resale price of existing homes was just under $110,000.
Today the median piece of existing homes sold on the resale market is closing in on $700,000.
There was nothing except for farmhouses west of Interstate 5.
Simplot’s fertilizer plant was the largest private sector employer. Now Lathrop is home to a number of high-profile employers including Tesla.
There was no Lathrop High. Secondary students were bused to East Union High in Manteca.
Stewart Tract across the river was farmland that periodically flooded. Today it is home to River Islands that in just over six years has more residents than the 6,841 that lived in Lathrop when it was first incorporated.
The state Department of Finance in May indicated Lathrop is now at 31,331 residents and was the third fast growing city in California during 2021.
But if you take out two aberrations — people moving back to the burned-out community of Paradise and students returning to Santa Cruz for in-person learning at the University of California campus after the pandemic eased — Lathrop was the fastest growing city in California last year.
Numerically, Lathrop was 13th in the state for numeric population gain as it added 1,947 new residents. Manteca was right behind in 14th with 1,864 new residents.