Once again, South Carolina�s surging nonbuilding sector produced overall improvement in the value of new construction contracts for the month. The overall value of new South Carolina contracts signed during April for future construction was $517.7 million, or 15% better than a year ago, reported McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of Southeast Construction.

During April, the value of new nonbuilding contracts more than tripled compared to a year ago for a $98.8-million tally. The residential category was flat compared to last April, with new starts totaling $318.4 million. Nonresidential contracts fell 1% compared to a year ago, for a total of about $100.4 million.

For the year-to-date, South Carolina contracts are 34% ahead compared to 2009, with nearly $2.4 billion in new projects.

The nonresidential market is the lone negative. It�s down 14% compared to 2009, with about $501.2 million in new contracts. Residential starts are 33% ahead of last year, with more than $1.2 billion in new projects moving forward. Nonbuilding contracts are more than double last year�s volume through the first four months of the year, with approximately $677.2 million in new starts so far.