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Building in oil patch hub Williston booms in Jan.

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) -- Building continues to boom in the western North Dakota oil patch hub of Williston.

The city Building Department reports that permit values in January increased 85 percent over the year. Office manager Kelly Aberle says the department issued 43 permits with a total value of $27.6 million.

Aberle says permit numbers and values have been rising since 2007. That year there were 339 permits with a value of $42 million. Last year there were 696 permits with a value of $353 million.

Aberle says there was a big push for apartment buildings last year.

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.