Fort Worth-based D.R. Horton said it received orders for 8,771 homes worth $2.29 billion in the last three months of the year, compared with orders for 11,463 homes worth $3.17 billion a year earlier.

Meritage, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., said net sales in the quarter were 1,201 homes totaling $356 million, down from a record 2,072 orders for $723 million a year earlier.

And now a bit of grasping at straws.

But Horton also provided a glimmer of hope for those who believe housing is recovering, saying its cancellation rate “” the number of orders canceled divided by gross sales orders “” fell to 33 percent in the last three months of 2006 from 40 percent in the July-September quarter.

That’s still twice their usual cancelation rate.

Nevertheless, the builders should be okay by late 2007 if they can control their self-destructive compulsion to just build more homes.

Here is a more detailed article on the D.R Horton and Meritage 4th quarter reports.

ADDED:

There should be a 12 step program for Arizona homebuilders.

“Hi, my name is D.R. and I’m a homebuilder.”

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