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Housing Market Up in Pittsburgh Region

Southwestern Pennsylvania's housing market was strong in January.

In the region overall, residential home sales increased by nearly 25 percent, new listings were up about 8 percent, and average sale prices increased 5 percent from January 2011, according to West Penn Multi-List, Inc.

Allegheny County showed a nearly 11 percent increase in new listings, 19 percent rise in home sales, and almost an 8 percent increase in the average sale price.

Ron Croushore, President of West Penn Multi-List and Prudential Preferred Reality, said the housing crash has not hit the Pittsburgh area like it has the rest of the country.

"We've been really fortunate here. Our average sell price in 2011 went up 3.63 percent and it's already gone up in the month of January," said Croushore. "It went up from 2009 to 2010 about three percent. So we weren't suffering from the same problems that were going on nationwide."

Croushore says low interest rates make buying easier, but conditions for sellers are also good.

"There's not a glutton of inventory on the market. We don't have a lot of foreclosures or a lot of short sales, so the market price is good to put your home on the market," said Croushore. "And they don't have to feel like sellers have to give their home away because we have been having sales prices increase the last three years."

Butler, Beaver, and Washington Counties all saw increases in the number of homes sold and average sale price, but Westmoreland County came up short with an 11 percent decrease in the average sale price dipping from $147,778 in January 2011 to $130,926 last month.