Two Builders Post Order Dropoff

Brookfield and William Lyon Homes report first-quarter orders fell 56% and 26%, respectively.
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Builders

Brookfield Homes

(BHS)

and

William Lyon Homes

(WLS)

both reported a sharp dropoff in new orders for the first quarter.

Brookfield Homes said new orders fell 56% to 227 units from 517 amid slow sales and a more competitive environment in San Diego, Riverside, Calif., and Washington, D.C.

In San Diego/Riverside, orders fell 75% to 40 units, and in Washington, orders dropped 66% to 69 units. Orders rose 10% in Los Angeles, but fell 76% in San Francisco, as fewer home communities were available for sale.

William Lyon said orders fell 26% to 647 units in the first quarter. The company's cancellation rate was 28%, up from 12% a year ago. Orders fell 33% in California and 27% in Arizona, but rose 5% in Nevada as more communities opened up for sale.

While both order numbers were disappointing, Brookfield Homes' stock got hit harder, recently dropping nearly 6% to $49.20. William Lyon, which is currently mulling a $93 per share

buyout offer from its CEO, rose 30 cents $96.60. Investors have been speculating that the company's board will eventually recommend a higher buyout offer.