DENVER ( TheStreet) -- Homebuilder and mortgage company MDC narrowed its second-quarter loss, even as fewer homes were sold and selling prices remained low.

During the quarter, the company recorded a loss of $29.6 million, or 64 cents a share, compared with a loss of $100.7 million, or $2.18 a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected a loss of 58 cents.

But last year's results were weighed down by an $88.3 million charge for asset write-downs and a $43.4 million allowance for tax deferrals.

The most recent quarter's results include an increase in its tax allowance of $17.6 million.

Revenue was more than halved to $195.3 million from $403.4 million, due to fewer home sales and lower selling prices.

Still, despite fewer home sales and lower prices, orders increased to 977 homes from 959 -- the year-over-year increase for the company since 2005. The cancellation rate fell to 20% from 43%.

Shares of the company rose 3% to $35.39 in morning trading, and other homebuilders followed suit. Toll Brothers ( TOL) inched up 1% to $19.49, KB Home ( KBH) rose 1% to $16.62 and Centex ( CTX) was trading hands up 1.5% to $10.85.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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