The value of new Florida residential construction contracts surged in August, offsetting significant declines in the other building categories and pushing the state’s overall monthly total to a 13% gain, according to McGraw-Hill Construction.

Photo courtesy Suffolk Construction Co.
Suffolk Construction Co. recently topped out its 14-story Miami-Dade Children's Courthouse project in Miami.

According to the company, Florida saw nearly $1.5 billion in new housing contracts commence in August, a 62% gain compared to the same period of a year ago.

The state’s other construction sectors declined significantly during the month, however. McGraw-Hill estimated Florida’s nonresidential contracts at roughly $506.3 million, or 28% lower than last August. Also, the nonbuilding category—which includes infrastructure contracts—fell 14% compared to a year ago, resulting in a $519-million total.

Altogether, Florida’s August contracts totaled nearly $2.5 billion for the month, or 13% better than a year ago.

On a year-to-date basis, McGraw-Hill estimates Florida’s new construction contracts total just over $18.7 billion, or 19% better than 2011’s pace.

Residential remains the strongest construction category for the year. Through August, housing contracts total nearly $8.9 billion, or 40% better than a year ago. Meanwhile, the nonbuilding category’s $5.5-billion tally through the first eight months of the year represents a 9% gain compared to 2011.

Nonresidential’s August decline took the category into negative territory for the year, with its $4.3-billion year-to-date total now equaling a 1% decline.