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Irma to cause delays in home deliveries

U.S. homebuilder Lennar Corp said on Thursday it expects hundreds of home deliveries in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina to be delayed due to the impact of Hurricane Irma that ravaged the Atlantic coast.

Lennar said deliveries of about 700 homes would most likely be delayed from its fiscal fourth quarter ending Nov. 30 to the next fiscal year.

The No.2 U.S. homebuilder said its communities in Texas, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina accounted for about 40 percent of annual homebuilding revenue.

Lennar’s Texas communities were hit by Hurricane Harvey, which impacted orders and deliveries of about 120 homes in the third quarter ended Aug. 31, the company said. Harvey is expected to impact deliveries of 130 homes in the fourth quarter, Lennar said.

The company said orders — a key indicator of future revenue for homebuilders — rose 8 percent to 7,610 homes in the third quarter ended Aug. 31. Lennar sold 7,598 homes in the quarter, up 12 percent from a year earlier.

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Lennar said there was only minor damage to its communities as a result of Irma, based on a “very preliminary” assessment.

The company expects rebuilding activity to drive demand for new homes next year, Lennar added.

One of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record, Irma bore down on the Caribbean with devastating force as it raked the northern shore of Cuba last week.

It barreled into the Florida Keys island chain on Sunday, before plowing up the Gulf Coast of the state and dissipating.

The death toll from Irma stood at 81, with several hard-hit Caribbean islands accounting for more than half the fatalities. (Reuters)

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