A 70% surge in new residential projects overcame downturns in the other sectors to boost the overall value of Florida’s May construction contracts to nearly $2.2 billion, according to McGraw-Hill Construction. The total was a 19% improvement over the same period of a year ago.

Image courtesy Plaza Construction Group Florida
Plaza Construction of Miami recently started work expanding the Dadeland Mall, a project the contractor reports is valued at more than $100 million.

For the month of May, McGraw-Hill recorded just over $1.3 billion in new residential construction contracts, a 70% gain compared to the $771.5-million total of May 2011.

The nonbuilding sector, which includes infrastructure projects, went negative, however—about 38% below last May’s pace, with about $295.1 million in new contracts. Nonresidential slipped 3% compared to the same period of a year ago, resulting in about $553.2 million in new contracts.

For the year to date, McGraw-Hill Construction estimates that all three construction sectors to be significantly ahead of last year’s pace. Residential has gained the most ground, with its nearly $5-billion total through May representing a 38% gain over 2011’s pace.

Florida’s nonresidential sector has improved by 25% through May, with roughly $2.9 billion in new contracts moving forward so far. The nonbuilding category, with about $3.7 billion in new contracts to date, is 15% ahead of a year ago.

Through May, McGraw-Hill estimates the overall value of new Florida contracts at about $11.6 billion, or 27% better than last year’s $9.1-billion tally for the same period.