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Lennar ramps up construction, prices in 2Q

MIAMI (AP) — Lennar delivered more homes and at higher prices during its second quarter, exceeding expectations that Wall Street had for the nation’s second-largest homebuilder.

The Miami company had a 10 percent jump in new orders over the three-month period that is crucial in the housing industry, CEO Stuart Miller said in a company statement Tuesday.

The slow and steady recovery of the housing market is being sustained by low interest rates, modest wage growth, consumer confidence, low unemployment and tight housing inventory levels, Miller said.

New home construction in the U.S. has climbed 10.2 percent this year compared to the first five months of 2015, a sign that healthy demand exists because of ultra-low mortgage rates and a relatively healthy job market, with unemployment at 4.7 percent.

New construction of single-family homes has climbed 14.5 percent this year, evidence that builders are actively seeking homeowners rather than renters, as they had in recent years.

For the three months ended May 31, Lennar Corp. earned $218.5 million, or 95 cents per share. A year ago the company earned $183 million, or 79 cents per share.

This easily beat the 87 cents per share that analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research called for.

Revenue climbed to $2.75 billion from $2.39 billion.

Home sales increased to $2.43 billion from $2.08 billion. Home deliveries rose 12 percent to 6,724 homes.

Company shares, which are down almost 5 percent this year, edged higher in premarket trading Tuesday. Lennar’s stock has been gaining strength in recent weeks, and is up more than 5 percent in the past month.

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