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UPDATE 1-Higher home prices boost D.R. Horton's profit

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April 24 (Reuters) - D.R. Horton Inc, the top U.S. homebuilder, reported an 18 percent rise in quarterly profit as a short supply of houses on the market allowed it to raise prices.

The company said orders rose 9 percent as the spring selling season kicks off. The season, typically lasting from mid-March to mid-June, is to homebuilders what the holiday shopping season is to retailers.

The housing market had been under strain for the past few months from higher mortgage rates that sidelined potential buyers, but D.R. Horton said in January it expected a strong spring selling season.

Average selling price rose 10 percent to $278,900 in the second quarter ended March 31.

Homebuilding revenue rose 22.7 percent to $1.68 billion.

The company's net income rose to $131.0 million, or 38 cents per share, from $111.0 million, or 32 cents per share, a year earlier.

D.R. Horton's shares closed at $21.35 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. They have dropped about 4 percent so far this year, compared with a 6 percent fall in the Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction index.

(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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