UPDATE 1-Lennar beats quarterly profit estimates on housing market strength

(Adds details on home deliveries, profit, forecast)

Dec 16 (Reuters) - Homebuilder Lennar Corp beat quarterly profit and revenue estimates on Wednesday, as it reined in construction costs and benefited from a strong U.S. housing market.

Lennar’s shares rose 3.4% in extended trading, after the company’s first-quarter home delivery forecast also beat Wall Street estimates.

While the COVID-19 health crisis has wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy, the housing market got a boost from record low mortgage rates and demand for suburban housing as city dwellers look for spacious homes away from overcrowded spaces.

“The confluence of Millennials starting families and creating households of their own, along with the pro-housing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, has materially strengthened demand,” executive chairman Stuart Miller said.

The company forecast first-quarter delivery of 12,200 to 12,500 homes, above analysts’ estimates of 11,592, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Revenue fell to $6.83 billion in the fourth quarter ended Nov. 30, from $6.97 billion a year earlier. Analysts were expecting revenue of $6.65 billion.

Net earnings attributable to the company rose to $882.8 million, or $2.82 per share, from $674.3 million, or $2.13 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected earnings of 2.37 per share. (Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)