In anticipation of its full third-quarter results release on Oct. 30, Columbus, Ohio-based M/I Homes today reported 561 new sales contracts were written in the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2007. This figure represents only a 2% decline for the same period year-over-year.

At first blush, the M/I numbers indicate a stability enviable among many of the sector's other companies; however last year's number for the period was off 51% from the quarterly record posted in 2005. For this year's nine-month period, new contracts are down 11% from the previous year.

Homes delivered for the 2007 third quarter decreased 15% to 787 from 2006's 927. The sales value of backlogged homes as of Sept. 30, 2007, was $481 million, with 1,468 backlog units and an average sales price of $327,000. M/I had 159 active communities as of Sept. 30, 2007 compared to 170 at the same time last year.

Results for the quarter on a regional basis are as follows:

In the Midwest: Sales were down 2% to 252, and closings were down 19% to 376. In Florida: Sales were up 5% to 145, and closings were down 33% to 196. In the Mid-Atlantic: Sales were down 6% to 164, and closings were up 27% to 215.