The state of Florida saw a 2% increase in the overall value of new construction contracts signed in April for future construction, leaving its year-to-date total 5% down from 2009�s pace, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of Southeast Construction.

During April, the overall value of new construction contracts was roughly $2.2 billion. Nonresidential contracts fell 43%, compared to a year ago, for a total of $452.3 million. Residential contracts jumped 47%, however, with new starts totaling $780.7 million. The nonbuilding category improved by 18% during the month, for a total of $967.9 million in new projects.

For the year-to-date, Florida�s contract activity is 5% behind 2009�s pace, with nearly $9 billion in new projects. The nonresidential market is 35% behind last year�s pace, with $2.2 billion in new starts. Nonbuilding contracts are also down, by 5%, for a $3.7-billion total. Residential starts are 42% ahead, however, for a roughly $3.1-billion tally.