The value of new Florida construction contracts improved by 25% in February, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of ENR Southeast. The company estimated the value of new contracts at nearly $1.7 billion; last February, Florida registered roughly $1.3 billion in new projects.

All three broad construction categories experienced increases during February. Residential contracts jumped the highest on a percentage basis, increasing by 36% to total more than $868.8 million for the month. The nonbuilding category, which includes infrastructure projects, improved by 29% for a $409.3 million total. And the nonresidential category recorded $408.1 million in new contracts, or 6% better than the same period of a year ago.

Two months into 2012, McGraw-Hill Construction estimates that all three building categories to be positive on a year-to-date basis.

The nonbuilding sector has surged the most, improving by 66% compared to the start of 2011 for a nearly $891.6 million total. The company estimates the year-to-date total for new nonresidential contracts at nearly $1.1 billion, or 32% ahead of 2011’s early pace. Residential contracts totaled nearly $1.6 billion through February, or 23% better than a year ago.

Overall, through February, McGraw-Hill Construction estimates Florida’s new contracts at $3.5 billion, or 35% better than a year ago.