McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of Southeast Construction, reported that the value of new Florida contracts signed in August for future construction declined by 42% overall, compared to the same period of a year ago. The total of all new contracts was nearly $1.7 billion, compared to the nearly $2.9 billion of last August.

All three construction categories declined by significant double-digit percentage points. The nonbuilding sector fell 19% in August, compared to a year ago, for a total of about $475.6 million. The residential market declined by 42% and totaled roughly $651.3 million for the month. The nonresidential sector fell, too, by 53%, to total about $550.5 million in new contracts.

For the year-to-date, Florida’s overall total for new contracts of nearly $17.4 billion is now 27% behind 2008’s pace. The nonbuilding sector is the only positive sector for the year so far. This market now totals nearly $6 billion, which is 30% ahead of the same period of a year ago. Nonresidential, which totals roughly $6.5 billion through August, is 35% behind '08’s pace. Residential is still the smallest market on a year-to-date basis. Its nearly $5-billion total is 46% behind last year's pace.