Homebuilder KB Home reported a deeper quarterly loss than Wall Street had expected, and its chief executive warned he does not expect meaningful improvement in the U.S. housing market in the near future.

KB on Friday reported a third-quarter net loss of $66 million, or 87 cents per share, less severe than the loss of $144.7 million, or $1.87 per share, recorded a year earlier.

The loss was deeper than the 73 cents-per-share loss Wall Street had braced for, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue came to $456.3 million, down 32.8 percent from $679.1 million a year earlier.

Its shares fell 4.5 percent to $17.70 in pre-market trading.

It will likely be some time before we see meaningful improvement in the economic conditions that are essential to our industry's future growth, said CEO Jeff Mezger.

Larger peer Lennar Corp on Monday also reported a deeper-than-expected quarterly loss but said it expected to return to profitability in 2010.

Homebuilder shares have been on a tear over the past three months, as the industry that was one of the first to be sucked into the worst U.S. economic downturn since the Great Depression starts to show signs of stabilization.

So far this year, KB shares are up about 38 percent, trailing the 41 percent rise of the Standard & Poor's homebuilder index <.GSPHOME>.

(Reporting by Scott Malone, editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Dave Zimmerman)