According to McGraw-Hill Construction, the overall value of new construction starts in North Carolina fell 1% in December, compared to the same period of a year ago.

The residential sector showed significant improvement in December, with new starts roughly 25% higher than a year ago, for a $414.8-million total. The other two construction categories were down considerably, however. Nonresidential starts fell 24% during the month, for a $171.5-million tally. The nonbuilding category, which includes infrastructure projects, declined 23%, for a $119.1-million total for the month.

For all of 2009, however, all categories ended down by double-digit percentages. The value of 2009’s nonresidential projects in North Carolina, roughly $5.4 billion, was 11% lower than 2008. Nonbuilding starts came in 31% lower than a year ago, with about $2.8 billion in new projects. The residential sector showed the steepest decline, falling 38% for the year and totaling nearly $5.6 billion.

Overall, North Carolina’s total construction starts fell 28% during 2009, compared to 2008, for a $13.8-billion final figure.