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New home construction on the rise in Northwest Florida

New home construction is on the rise in Northwest Florida.

Santa Rosa County has issued 232 building permits for single family homes so far this year.

That's nearly twice as many as the same period in 2012.

One builder says it's sold 72 homes over the last year alone in the Ashley Plantation Subdivision in north Pace.

"I was surprised at how fast the area built up," said Leslie Breitling.

Leslie Breitling moved into Ashley Plantation last June.

"When I first was brought out here it was trees and a lot of woods," said Breitling.

Breitling came here to attend Pensacola State College.

"There's plenty of good schools. When I do have children, that's something I'm looking for. And it's a small town, which I like. Growing up in New Orleans, it was mostly big city," Breitling said.

"I'm able to provide for my family a little bit better," Maurice Day.

Maurice Day, an electrician, has been working on several homes in the neighborhood.

He's lived in Pace for more than 20 years.

"It got real busy after Ivan and then, it kind of slowed down and then it started to pick up a lot, like I've seen a lot of houses go up and a lot of new construction," Day said.

County authorities say Ashley Plantation and other subdivisions approved years ago were delayed because of the recession.

But in the middle of last year the number of home building permits spiked.

And a steady number have been issued ever since.

"Everybody likes the schools in Pace. I bought my house in Pace. I personally prefer that over Pensacola, Milton or anywhere else. Pace is the place,"

If you're looking to buy a new home, you better move quickly. Builders say most homes here are sold before they're fully built.

Escambia County also saw an increase in permits for new home construction.

From 123 issued in the first three months of 2012, to 201 issued this year.