Housing Booms as Bakken Oil Lifts Billings Economy

Billings is on pace to issue a more-than-50% increase in permits to build new single-family homes in 2012

Thousands of workers chasing quick riches by flooding into the Bakken oil field have helped jump-start home sales in Billings, Mont.

At the current pace, Billings should see 300 new, single-family homes built this year, compared to 197 permits last year. But the city has a long way to go to return to the peak set in 2003 when 601 homes were built.

(More about the Billings building boom . . . )