fourth-largest US homebuilder Centex Corporation has reported
its biggest quarterly loss in at least 17 years after writing
down the value of property, as the housing recession intensified.
net loss in the quarter ended 30 September was $643.8
million or $5.26 a share, compared with a net income of
$137.4 million, or $1.11, a year earlier. Second-quarter
revenue fell 21 per cent to $2.2 billion. Centex recorded
$983 million in land writedowns and charges and said its
cancellation rate was a staggering 35 per cent.
company says it has "meaningfully reduced prices
in order to improve affordability for our home buyers".
September home sales are forecast to fall to a seven-year
low as lenders tighten credit standards. Defaults doubled
last month from a year ago.
are having to contend with a more than eight-month supply
of unsold homes, the most in at least six years, and are
cutting prices to clear inventories. Centex is projected
to have a net loss of $5.52 a share, according to Wall
Homes Inc, the third-largest US builder, and Ryland Group
Inc, a large builder, will declare quarterly results on
Wednesday 24 October. Pulte is forecast to report a net
loss of $1.18 a share. Ryland may report a net loss of
$1.06 a share.
purchases of new and existing homes fell to an annuallised
pace of 6.02 million, the fewest since August 2000. Centex
said the average sale price for a home sold in the quarter
was $280,816, down 8 per cent from $305,201 a year ago.
median price for a house sold in Dallas, Texas, in September
was $160,300, up 6 per cent from $151,200 a year ago,
according to the Real Estate Centre at Texas A&M University
in College Station, Texas. The median price in the Riverside-San
Bernardino area was $377,130 in August, a 7.4 per cent
decrease from a year earlier, according to the California
Association of Realtors.