Hovnanian Enterprises, the home builder, said Tuesday that it cut its quarterly loss, but its revenue fell by nearly half as it cut prices to encourage sales.

The company pointed to the increase in new-home contracts per community, a lower rate of cancellation on home orders during the quarter and “more stability” in home prices the last six weeks as indications that the housing market was beginning to thaw.

But the builder said the stirrings of a housing turnaround might weaken unless the government extended the life and amount of an $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers and did more to stave off foreclosures.

New York Times