McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of Southeast Construction, reported that the value of new Florida contracts signed in September for future construction declined by 38% overall, compared to the same period of a year ago. The total of all new contracts was slightly more than $1.6 billion, compared to the roughly $2.7 billion of last August.

All three construction categories declined by double-digit percentage points. The nonbuilding sector fell the least in September, dropping 11% compared to a year ago, for a total of about $461.7 million. The residential market declined by 26% and totaled roughly $632.4 million for the month. The nonresidential sector fell the most, by 58%, to total about $542.6 million in new contracts.

For the year-to-date, Florida’s overall total for new contracts of nearly $19.3 billion is 28% behind 2008’s pace. The nonbuilding sector totals roughly $6.4 billion, which is 26% ahead of the same period of a year ago. Nonresidential, which totals roughly $7.2 billion through September, is now 36% behind ‘08’s pace. Residential is still the smallest market on a year-to-date basis. Its $5.6-billion total is 45% behind last year’s pace.