Despite a healthy uptick in the residential market, the overall value of Georgia contracts signed in December for future construction fell by 11% for the month, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of Southeast Construction.

The residential sector improved by 18% in December, compared to the same period of a year ago, for a monthly total of approximately $229.3 million. The other two construction categories went negative, however. Nonresidential starts fell 9% in December for a $419.7-million tally. The value of new nonbuilding starts dropped 40% during the period to register $135.9 million.

All construction categories were down for the year overall, however. Georgia’s 2009 nonbuilding starts fell the least of the three, but still dropped 20% compared to 2008, for nearly $2.8 billion in new contracts. The nonresidential market dropped off by 42% to tally nearly $4.9 billion, well down from 2008’s $8.4 billion. Residential contracts declined the most, however, falling 46% to register nearly $3.1 billion in new project starts.

Overall, the state saw more than $10.7 billion in new contracts during 2009, or 39% behind 2008’s $17.5-billion figure.