The value of contracts for future construction in the metropolitan area dropped 49 percent in August compared with a year ago on a decline in commercial activity.

Dodge Data & Analytics, an industry information service, Wednesday reported contracts worth $2.6 billion for future building were awarded in August in the 23-county region that includes Long Island, down from $5 billion in August 2014.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Nonresidential contracts for commercial properties, such as offices, hotels, factories and warehouses, totaled $1.2 billion in August, off 60 percent from a year ago.

Residential contracts fell 31 percent to $1.4 billion.