According to the latest information from McGraw-Hill Construction, the value of Georgia’s new construction contracts improved by 14% in December, nearly identical to the state’s overall growth rate for the year.

Residential and nonbuilding contracts provided the positive momentum in December. The company estimated Georgia’s housing-related contract activity at $299.3 million for the month, or 13% better than the same period of a year ago. Meanwhile, the nonbuilding sector, which includes infrastructure projects, roughly doubled compared to last December to register $153 million in new contracts.

The nonresidential sector was the only negative for December. It tallied nearly $289.2 million, or 7% behind the pace of a year ago.

For 2011 in total, McGraw-Hill Construction estimates Georgia’s overall contracts total at more than $12.2 billion, or 13% ahead of 2010’s final tally. According to the company, the 2011 overall improvement was the first for Georgia since 2006.

The nonbuilding sector improved the most in 2011, with its final tally of $3.1 billion representing a 27% gain over 2010. Nonresidential contracts improved by 11% overall during the year, registering roughly $5.4 billion in new work. Residential contracts registered a 5% gain, with a nearly $3.7 billion total.