A 41% drop in the value of new nonresidential contracts pulled down North Carolina’s April total for new projects by 13% overall, according to McGraw-Hill Construction. In all, the company estimated the Tar Heel State delivered nearly $851.4 million in new contracts during the month.

The nonresidential sector was the leading culprit for the state’s April decline. Its 41% drop resulted in nearly $196.8 million in new work, compared to the $335.4 million reported a year ago.

North Carolina’s nonbuilding sector, which includes infrastructure projects, also declined, by 4%, and tallied roughly $170.4 million. Residential contracts picked up the pace slightly, improving by 3% to total $484.2 million.

Despite the April decline, North Carolina’s year-to-date total for 2012 remains positive. So far this year, McGraw-Hill Construction estimates the state’s contracts at nearly $4.3 billion, or 7% ahead of 2011’s early pace.

Here again, the state’s nonresidential market is proving to be a drag on overall activity. Through April, McGraw-Hill estimates this category has delivered nearly $1.2 billion in new contracts, or 14% below the volume recorded a year ago.

Residential work has generated nearly $2.2 billion in new work, or 22% better than last year. The company estimates the nonbuilding category at $878.2 million through April, or 10% ahead of 2011’s pace.