Lennar posts smaller quarterly profit

June23 (Reuters) - Homebuilder Lennar Corp <LEN.N> posted a smaller quarterly profit on Thursday as home prices fell, forcing builders to take charges for writing down land inventory.

The third-largest U.S. builder reported earnings of $13.8 million, or 7 cents a share, compared with earnings of $39.7 million, or 21 cents per share, a year ago.

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes hit a six-month low in May and supply rose, the National Association of Realtors said on Tuesday, an indication of ongoing weak demand for even used homes, which are generally more affordable than the new ones built by Lennar and rivals such as PulteGroup Inc <PHM.N> and KB Home <KBH.N>.

Lennar builds homes in 14 states, including Florida and California, and also has "Rialto," a distressed land operation.

Shares of the company closed at $18.1 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Helen Chernikoff and Nivedita Bhattacharjee; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)