Wires

UPDATE 1-Homebuilder Lennar's profit beats as lower rates boost demand

(Compares with estimates, adds fourth-quarter details, shares)

Jan 8 (Reuters) - Lennar Corp reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, as demand for its homes got a boost from lower mortgage rates.

Shares of the No. 2 U.S. homebuilder rose 3.1% in premarket trading after the company also said orders, which indicate future demand, rose 23.4% to 13,089 homes in the quarter.

The housing market has been steadily rising, driven by the Federal Reserve's three interest rate cuts last year, pushing down mortgage rates from multi-year highs in 2018.

Lennar sold 16,420 homes in the fourth quarter, up from 14,154 homes a year ago, while average price fell 6.7% to $393,000.

"During the fourth quarter, the basic underlying housing market fundamentals of low unemployment, higher wages and low inventory levels remained favorable," Chief Executive Rick Beckwitt said in a statement.

Net income attributable to the company fell to $674.3 million, or $2.13 per share, in the quarter ended Nov. 30, from $796.1 million, or $2.42 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $6.97 billion from $6.46 billion.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.90 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. (Reporting by Dominic Roshan K. L. in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)