Stockland posted a first-half net loss of $726.9m after write-downs on property asset values and said it was unlikely to meet its full-year earnings per share forecast.

The result compared with a net profit of $672.5m a year earlier, Australia's largest residential property developer said.

Sales in the six months ended 31 December were $803.8m, down 49% from $1.58bn in the same period in fiscal year 2007-2008.

Stockland, which in December cut its full-year earnings guidance by 25% from a previous forecast of nominal growth, and its peers have been reeling from sluggish home sales arising from the shrinking access to credit and a global downturn in the property market.

The Australian