MISSOULA, Mont. -

Missoula got mixed news on its housing market Thursday. The Missoula Organization of Realtors says it is stabilizing, but admits the market is still seeing effects of the economic downturn.

Realtors say there was a lot of good news in 2011. The median sales prices of existing homes went up 2.2 percent, and there were fewer foreclosed properties on the market.

"2011 was a very stable year," said Collin Bangs, of the Missoula Organization of Realtors. "Where we'd seen some drops in 2009, and 2010 was up and down a little bit, 2011 was a very stable year."

The number of short sales also fell, with only 32 for the whole year. That's just one more than was recorded in the last half of 2010 alone.

The bad news -- the number of existing home sales continued to decline, and the number of building permits issued by the city dropped for the sixth straight year.

Half of Missoula renters also spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing last year.