Building in oil patch hub Williston booms in Jan.

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WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Williston's construction boom is showing no signs of slowing, as the western North Dakota oil patch city continues to receive requests for construction permits as it works to ease its years-long housing crunch.

Commercial and residential construction permit values in January increased 85 percent over the year, according to the city Building Department. The department issued 43 permits with a total value of $27.6 million in projects, office manager Kelly Aberle told the Williston Herald (http://tinyurl.com/kou7hkm ).

Permit numbers and values in the city have been soaring since 2007, when there were 339 permits with a value of $42 million, Aberle said. Last year there were 696 permits with a value of $353 million, and in the peak year of 2012 there were 1,018 permits issued with a value of $470 million.

There was a big push for apartment buildings last year, according to Aberle.

"If you build it, they will come," she said.

That demand has driven up the market. A national study from an apartment renting guide recently found that Williston had the highest average rent in the country, at nearly $2,400 a month for a one-bedroom apartment.

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Information from: Williston Herald, http://www.willistonherald.com

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