In US downturn, KB Home turns to Mickey Mouse

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BOSTON, Sep 27 (Reuters) Faced with the worst US housing market in years, KB Home is wishing upon a star.

The No 5 US home builder said today it would begin to offer homes customized with Walt Disney Co characters -- such as Mickey Mouse, Cinderella and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Starting next year, buyers will be able to specify flooring, window coverings and lighting inspired by Disney characters.

''Almost 60 per cent of KB Home home buyers are families with children,'' said Wendy Marlett, senior vice president of sales and marketing at KB Home, in a statement.

The US housing market has been in a steep downturn for nearly two years now, with problems in the credit market and high prices deterring many prospective buyers.

REUTERS ARB PM0845

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