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The Tollefson Apartments, which were under construction when this photo was taken in January of 2018, comprise nine buildings and 330 apartments near the intersection of Mullan and Reserve. The first phase of the project cost roughly $19.2 million.

The number of single-family and two-family residential housing units permitted in the City of Missoula was 267 through the first 11 months of 2018, on pace to break last year’s decade-long high of 270 if at least four more were approved in December. That’s according to Mike Haynes, the director of the city’s Development Services office.

That may ease the housing affordability crisis a little in a city where housing prices have risen nearly 40 percent since 2010.

Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31 of this year, the median sales price of all homes sold in the urban area in Missoula was a record $290,000. November and December are slower months for housing sales, so the final median sale price for the entire year may be lower than that, but it is still likely to be significantly higher than the 2017 median sale price of $269,000.

Private commercial development and taxpayer-funded projects were also robust this year, according to Haynes.

“In the first 11 months of 2018, Development Services staff issued 1,376 building permits for projects with a total market value of construction of $211.3 million,” he said.

By the time Haynes’ office tallies the numbers for December next week, it probably won’t be enough to top last year’s record $277 million worth of new construction. It also likely won’t beat the 2016 mark of $248.7 million.

Both 2016 and 2017 saw the bulk of projects financed by the two Smart Schools 2020 bonds, which paid for a combined $158 million worth of projects.

Even this year, the remodel and addition to Sentinel High School was the second largest project approved, at $14.7 million. The single largest project was another taxpayer-funded endeavor, the $28 million Missoula County Public Library on East Front Street.

The largest privately financed project was the new Stockman Bank Building on Brooks Street, with a total market value of construction worth $13.4 million. The 76-unit Ault Mullan Apartments Buildings 7, 8 and 9 were worth $8.7 million, and the new Albertsons expansion and remodel on East Broadway was worth $3.5 million.

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