2014 CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS: Florida and South Carolina are the Only ‘Positive’ Southeast States

2014 CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS: Florida and South Carolina are the Only ‘Positive’ Southeast States

It’s now October 2014, and the end of the year is fast approaching. So, let’s take a look at how the Southeast states of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina have fared so far in terms of new construction contracts” writes Scott Judy in his Southeast Constructions blog for ENRSoutheast.  

McGraw Hill Construction recently released its official monthly estimates for each of these states, with the firm’s report on new contracts signed during the month of August. (Reminder: McGraw Hill’s monthly reports indicate the total value of new contracts awarded for future construction.).

McCarthy Building Cos. recently topped out Georgia State University’s College of Law building in downtown Atlanta. Also, recently, the University of South Carolina broke ground on its $80-million College of Law building. (Image courtesy McCarthy Building Cos.)

McGraw Hill Construction’s latest numbers for the four Southeast states illustrate a mix of the expected, and the somewhat unexpected. Following is a state-by-state look at the latest monthly numbers, along with year-to-date totals for each.
Florida: This Time, Non-building Surge Leads the Way — For several years now, it’s been Florida’s residential construction market that’s been doing the heavy lifting for the state’s builders. And that market is still growing, for sure. But non-building contracts—undoubtedly boosted by Florida DOT’s award of the I-4 Ultimate Project—are leading the way so far, with this sector a whopping 37% ahead of its year-ago total on a year-to-date basis.
Florida 2014 – 2013 % Change, +/-
Nonresidential $5 billion  $5 billion 0%
Residential $14.5  billion  $13.7  billion6%
Non-building $4.8 billion  $3.5 billion 37%
TOTAL $24.4 billion $22.3 billion 9%
Year-to-date figures, through August 2014.
For August, Florida’s nonresidential market saw the greatest growth, increasing by 17% compared to the same period of a year ago, with just over $709.4 million in new contracts. Residential kept improving in August, too, gaining 4% for a nearly $1.9-billion monthly total. And the non-building sector gained by 2%, compared to last August, for a nearly $468-million tally.
Georgia: Despite Those Stadiums, Numbers are Still Down — Georgia contractors are continuing to ready themselves for a long-awaited rebound. And with good reason, considering the $2 billion worth of construction moving forward related to the city’s two new major-league stadium projects. But according to McGraw Hill Construction’s figures, the state is still in decline during 2014. And, it’s important to note, 2013 wasn’t anything to write home about in terms of new contracts. According to McGraw Hill, Georgia saw the value of its new contracts decline by 24% overall during 2013.
Georgia 2014 – 2013 % Change, +/-
Nonresidential $2.7 billion  $4.2 billion-37%
Residential $4.65 billion  $4.6 billion 1%
Non-building $1.5 billion  $1.65 billion -10%
TOTAL $8.8 billion  $10.5 billion  -16%
Year-to-date figures, through August 2014.
For August, only Georgia’s non-building market posted a gain, with a 3% improvement to total roughly $207.4 million. Nonresidential contracts declined 11% compared to last August, with a $341.3-million tally. And residential contracts dropped 10%, with a monthly total of $549.1 million.
North Carolina: ‘Steady’ is One Way to Put It. ‘Flat’ is Another — According to McGraw Hill Construction, North Carolina ended 2013 flat compared to the year before. And so far, it’s looking like more of the same in 2014.
North Carolina 2014 – 2013 % Change, +/-
Nonresidential $2.21 billion  $2.17 billion 2%
Residential $6.4 billion  $6.9 billion -8%
Non-building $2.2 billion  $1.6 billion 32%
TOTAL $10.75 billion  $10.71 billion  0%
Year-to-date figures, through August 2014.
For August, North Carolina’s non-building market remained the driving force behind the state’s contracts total. The value of new contracts in this market more than tripled compared to last August, delivering $485.3 million worth of new work. On the other hand, nonresidential fell 2%, to $279 million, while residential dropped 24% to $747.4 million..
South Carolina: Is State’s Reputation as a Manufacturing Hub Taking Root? — South Carolina officials have been successfully luring numerous firms to locate manufacturing operations in the Palmetto State for several years now. And while that is certainly a factor in the state’s growth, McGraw Hill Construction says it’s the residential market that is growing the fastest in South Carolina in 2014.
South Carolina 2014 – 2013 % Change, +/-
Nonresidential $1.5 billion  $1.6 billion -9%
Residential $3.8 billion  $3.4 billion 12%
Non-building $487.4 million  $474.3 million 3%
TOTAL $5.75 billion  $5.49 billion  5%
Year-to-date figures, through August 2014.
During August, though, it was the non-building market that increased the most, with a 28% gain for a monthly total of $89.9 million. Nonresidential contracts eked out a 2% increase, with a $183.4-million tally. However, the residential market fell 11%, dropping to $435.9 million for the month.

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