D.R. Horton Inc., the largest U.S. home builder, and Pulte Homes Inc., the second largest, reported quarterly losses this week and said the outlook for the housing market remains difficult.

"Market conditions … are still challenging, characterized by rising foreclosures, high inventory levels of available homes, increasing unemployment, tight credit for homebuyers and weak consumer confidence," D.R. Horton's chairman, Donald Horton, said in a press release issued Tuesday.

His Fort Worth company, along with Pulte in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and Centex Corp. in Dallas, which reported a fiscal first-quarter profit Monday on a tax benefit, were forced to cut prices by an average of 8.7%, to lure buyers.

D.R. Horton posted its ninth straight quarterly loss. For the quarter that ended June 30, the loss narrowed to $142.3 million, or 45 cents a share, from $399.3 million, or $1.26 a share, a year earlier.

Orders dropped 7.5%, to 5,089. The builder reported a cancellation rate of 26% in the quarter. The value of its orders fell to $1.1 billion, from $1.9 billion a year earlier.

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