The value of new construction in the United States declined 1.3 percent during November, the sharpest drop since last winter, the Commerce Department reported yesterday.

New construction was valued at an annual rate of $235.3 billion in November compared with October's revised $238.5 billion level, the Commerce report said.

The November drop was the most pronounced since last January's 4.9 percent falloff when the effects of severe winter weather curtailed building in some sections of the country.

Construction rose 2.5 percent during October.

Still, the pace of construction in November remained ahead of 1978, the report said.

"During the first 11 months of this year, $208.1 billion of new construction was put in place compared to $189.1 billion for the same period in 1978," the Commerce Department said.

When adjusted for inflation, however, construction in November was valued at $114.3 billion, down from the $118.9 billion of November 1978, the report showed.

Both private and public construction showed declines in November.

Private construction fell from an annual rate of $185.6 billion in October to $184.1 billion in November.

Much of the decline was in residential construction, which dropped from $99.2 billion in October to $98.3 billion in November. Nonresidential construction fell from an annual $49.5 billion in October to $49.1 billion in November.

Public construction fell from $52.9 billion to $52.2 billion in November.