PulteGroup, D.R. Horton expect profitable turn

By ALEX VEIGA | July 28, 2011 | 8:14 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The CEOs of the nation's two largest homebuilders say demand for new homes appears to be stabilizing, if still at very low levels.

PulteGroup Inc. CEO Richard Dugas and D.R. Horton Inc. CEO Donald Tomnitz weighed in on the market trends on Thursday after each company reported financial results for the April-to-June quarter.

Each builder reported lower home closings for the quarter and contracts for new homes that landed just about even with their prior-year results.

Tomnitz says demand is back to a normal seasonal pattern following last year's homebuyer tax credit, which pulled sales forward for much of the year.

Dugas says demand remains flat, but at a stable, if low, level.

But he says the economy must improve before a meaningful housing recovery can occur.