Homebuilders’ Losses Mount Amid Low Orders

Two of the country’s largest home-building corporations lost millions in Q209 and said challenges remain amid low buyer demand for new homes. Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based Pulte Homes (PHM) lost $189.5m ($0.74 per share), an even greater loss than the $158.4m Pulte reported in Q208. The country’s largest builder, Fort Worth-based DR Horton (DHI), lost $142.3m ($0.45 per share) in the quarter. That’s an improvement over Q208’s loss of just under $400m. “Market conditions in the homebuilding industry are still challenging, characterized by rising foreclosures, high inventory levels of available homes, increasing unemployment, tight credit for homebuyers and weak consumer confidence,” DR Horton board chairman Donald Horton said in a statement. Horton and Pulte both reported decreased orders for new homes of 7.5% and 34.5%, respectively. Pulte reported selling 54% fewer homes (2,500) at a decreased average selling price $261,000, while Horton sold 45% fewer homes in Q209 (4,240) than in Q208. Dallas-based Centex Corporation (CTX) — a builder currently negotiating its $1.3bn takeover by Pulte — stayed in the black thanks to a $410m tax credit that helped the company earn $85m in Q209. Write to Austin Kilgore.

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[PULSE] Even during origination surge, don’t forget to brush up on compliance

Jim Paolino CEO of Lodestar Software Solutions, writes: “Enforcement agencies and regulators don’t take a break when the market is going well. They have jobs to do, too. Things like the Fair Housing Act and Dodd-Frank are still with us, no matter how aggressive or lax you believe the agencies responsible for enforcing them should be or are.”

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3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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