McGraw-Hill Construction reports that the value of Georgia’s June construction starts totaled nearly $1.2 billion in June, an increase of 34% compared to the same period of a year ago.

A surge in commercial starts fueled the increase. Nonresidential contracts totaled nearly $676.8 million, or 72% above last June’s total of $393.9 million. Residential contracts also moved up, with the latest total of $366.9 million representing a 19% gain from the year-ago period. The nonbuilding sector, which includes infrastructure projects, experienced a 21% decline for the month, with about $152.3 million in new contracts.

For the year-to-date, McGraw-Hill Construction estimates Georgia’s total new contracts figure at just over $5.2 billion, or 12% below the year-ago total of $5.9 billion.

Through June, residential is the lone positive sector, with a six-month total of $1.8 billion that is 1% ahead of 2010’s pace. Nonresidential starts are estimated at nearly $2.6 billion, or 3% below the amount recorded halfway through 2010. Nonbuilding starts remain mired in the deepest slump, however. This sector’s total of roughly $766.5 million is 45% below last year’s pace.