Lennar Sees Fiscal Loss in First Quarter

Miami–Homebuilder Lennar Corp., headquartered in Miami, posted a fiscal first-quarter loss due to the housing slump and ongoing credit crisis, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Lennar–one of the biggest U.S. homebuilders–announced a net loss of $88.2 million, compared with a 2007 net income of $68.6 million in the quarter ended Feb. 29. Lennar’s revenue plunged 62 percent to $1.06 billion, not counting charges connected to valuation adjustments and write-offs of option deposits and pre-acquisition costs. Gross margin on home sales increased to 17.1 percent–excluding valuation adjustments–from 15.6 percent. Orders dropped to 3,045, a 57 percent decreased. Deliveries fell 60 percent to 3,437.Lennar’s average sales price also fell 8.3 percent to $278,000–and the company had a cancellation rate of 26 percent.”The housing industry continues to be impacted by an unfavorable supply and demand relationship, which restricts the volume of new home sales and, concurrently, depresses home prices in most markets across the country,” said Lennar President and Chief Executive Stuart Miller.But Miller also said that the company expected the situation to improve.”With a longer-term perspective, we believe that government action and normal market clearing will work together to lead the housing market to stabilization and ultimately recovery,” he said.