McGraw-Hill Construction released its September 2012 monthly summary of construction starts, showing declines in both the commercial and residential sectors. Overall, though, new construction starts rose 16 percent, according to the figures released today.

Residential growth fell 1 percent in September. Totals dropped from $172.2 billion in August to $170.3 billion in September. Multifamily housing experienced a more significant slip from a 43 percent hike in August down to only a 10 percent increase in September. Single-family housing maintained a modest growth of 2 percent. An overall 5 percent increase in total residential construction is cited as the result of “heightened activity” for two main construction groups in the report.

Year-to-date gains for residential construction grew 26 percent, while single-family housing increased by 25 percent. Multi-family housing saw an increase of 30 percent. Overall, the residential sector saw an increase in year-to-date construction starts from $94.4 billion in 2011 to $119.3 billion for 2012.

Geographically, total construction starts in the South Atlantic region showed the largest boom with a 33 percent increase resulting from the construction of two nuclear power plants in Georgia and South Carolina. This number decreases to only a 6-percent increase if the power plant projects are excluded. The Midwest also experienced a 6-percent growth and the South Central region saw a 2-percent increase. The Northeast decreased 5 percent and the West declined by 9 percent.

Nonresidential starts declined to $139 billion in September from $146 billion in August. Year-to-date figures show an overall 12 percent decline in nonresidential from $124.7 billion in 2011 to $109.2 billion in 2012.

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