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Nonresidential building contracts spike in March

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March brought a rebound in the value of construction contracts awarded around San Diego County, according to monthly data from McGraw Hill Construction and Dodge Research and Analytics.

The metropolitan statistical area produced a total of more than $965.8 million in new building contract awards in March, outperforming the region's performance in March 2013. On a year-to-date basis, the relatively strong number pushed San Diego County ahead of its 2013 performance for the first three months of the calendar year. Since the start of the year, through March, more than $1.32 billion in building contracts have been awarded. By comparison, the first three months of 2013 resulted in total contracts valued at less than $958 million.

While overall building contracts rebounded, the March increase was attributed entirely to contracts for non-residential buildings. Residential building contract values actually slid during the month, as compared to March 2013, by 26 percent.

That's a turnaround from the trend that had shown progress in the county's residential sector regularly outperforming those in the non-residential sector. The area ended 2013 with a 43 percent yearly increase in residential building contract values over 2012, while it experienced a 15 percent decline in non-residential building across the same time span.

Nonresidential buildings include those for office, retail, hotels, warehouses, manufacturing, education, health care, religious use, government, recreation, and other non-housing buildings. Both single-family homes and multifamily housing are included in the residential building measurement.

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