LOS ANGELES – The worst housing demand in decades is continuing.

PulteGroup Inc. said Wednesday the lackluster demand trends that builders saw in the July-September quarter extended into last month, and the company is planning for challenging industry conditions to continue.

“What we saw in the third quarter was an industry where demand continued to move along the bottom as buyers elected to remain on the sidelines,” said Richard Dugas, the builder’s chairman, president and chief executive.

The company, which posted a wider third-quarter loss because of hefty charges, said its new home orders slid 12 percent from a year ago and roughly 15 percent since the second quarter.

Shares in the Bloomfield Hills, Mich., company tumbled 62 cents, or 7.7 percent, to $7.45 in afternoon trading.

The builder’s results highlight concerns that the housing slide that began after federal home buyer tax credits expired in April is far from over.