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New building construction contracts off to slower start in 2014

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Through the first two months of the year, the value of construction contracts awarded around San Diego County is lagging the production of January-February 2013.

According to monthly data from McGraw Hill Construction and Dodge Research and Analytics, a total of about $219.8 million in future building construction contracts were awarded last month throughout the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos statistical area. That's nearly $22 million less than the amount produced in February 2013. When combined with January's figures, the region is trailing its 2013 performance by 9 percent.

A breakdown of the numbers into the subsets of residential buildings and non-residential buildings shows mixed performances so far. The report classifies residential building as including single-family and multifamily housing. It lists non-residential building construction as including office, retail, hotel, warehouse, manufacturing, educational, health care, religious, government, recreational and other non-housing buildings.

Though the year-to-date analysis shows a decrease from 2013 to 2014 in combined new contract values, activity within the non-residential element moved in a positive direction in the single month of February. It wasn't enough, though, to outweigh the 88 percent drop posted in January. Similarly, the modest 5 percent gain in January's residential building contracts was too small to overcome the 35 percent decline seen in that subset during the month of February.

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