Lennar quarterly profit up on higher sales, prices

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Lennar, the second-biggest U.S. homebuilder by market value, said fourth-quarter profit rose as it sold more homes and increased prices.

Net income climbed to $164.1 million, or 73 cents a share, for the three months through November, compared with $124.3 million, or 56 cents, a year earlier, the Miami-based company said in a statement Wednesday. Orders climbed 13 percent in the fiscal fourth quarter to 4,498 homes. Revenue rose to $1.92 billion from $1.35 billion a year earlier as the number of houses delivered increased by about 27 percent. The average sale price was $307,000, up 18 percent.

Lennar established a Clark County foothold this year through its purchase of construction-ready lots. Lennar is building and selling homes in Falcon’s Nest in Vancouver, Green Gables in Ridgefield, Lakeridge North in Camas and Columbia Crest in Washougal.

Mortgage rates surged to a two-year high in August from near-record lows in May, causing some would-be buyers to hold back. Borrowing costs have retreated since then, with the 30- year average at 4.42 percent, down from 4.58 percent on Aug. 22, according to McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac.