MURRYSVILLE (KDKA) — The sound of hammers fills the air in the Westmoreland Farms housing development in Murrysville where new home sales started slowly three years ago but took off this year.

“All of a sudden they were all selling left and right,” said Beverly Evans of Murrysville.

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In fact, houses are selling right and left throughout the region. After seven years of decline, sales are up – and up substantially – for 13 straight months.

“The arrow is really took off from the bow so to speak to the tune of 30 percent increase in sales volume,” said Dan Murrer, of RealStats.

The number of home sales in the region has been strong and steady, up more than 30 percent for the year.

But it’s the sale of new homes that has been truly explosive.

October’s new home sales were up 66 percent over last year; and in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, the number of new homes sold more than doubled.

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“Come on in and see my beautiful house.”

Retired, and semi-retired people, like Diane Dougherty are leading the way – downsizing from their old homes and buying new patio homes.

“This is the last place we’re going to have so we wanted something new that we don’t have to worry about for the next 30 years,” said Dougherty.

With historically low interest rates and optimism about the economy, younger buyers are taking the plunge, too.

Contractors hope the banks make it easier for them to get mortgages so the recovery doesn’t stall.

“We’ll see what happens with the credit markets, I think that’s going to be the big thing,” Keith Faulks, and electrical contractor, said.

And that’s the hope – that this boom in new home construction will continue making southwestern Pennsylvania the nationwide leader in the housing recovery.

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