Ryland Group posts net loss

Home builder Ryland Group Inc. on Wednesday reported a second-quarter net loss of $73.7 million as revenue dropped 44% compared with the same period a year earlier. Home sales were $261.6 million during the three months ended June 30, down from $472.3 million a year earlier.

The loss of $1.70 a share exceeded the average forecast loss of $1.01 expected by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Ryland released the results after the close of regular trading; shares fell 4 cents to $20.48. Shares are down 29% from a high of $29 on Sept. 19, 2008.

Orders for homes in the second quarter were down 16% from the same quarter a year earlier, to 1,716 units.

The Calabasas company’s executives declined to comment, saying they would do so in a conference call with analysts today. Ryland builds homes in 16 states, including California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida -- states experiencing the most foreclosures and the sharpest home-price declines in the housing downturn.


A massive glut of new homes remains unsold nationwide, though falling prices and tax credits are driving sales up. New-home sales rose 11% in June over May, the Census Bureau reported Monday.

But the rise in new-home sales was offset by the vast supply of unsold homes. New-home sales in June were the lowest for the month since 1982, and the current pace of sales could make 2009 the worst year for new-home sales since the Census Bureau began tracking the data in 1963.

The new homes that sold in June had sat vacant following construction for a median period of one year, the Census Bureau reported.

An index of home prices in 20 metropolitan areas was still down 17% for May from the same month in 2008. The S&P;/Case-Shiller home-price index, released Tuesday, rose by less than 1% over its April level, but was still in negative territory when adjusted for seasonality.