M/I Homes, Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday morning reported declines in new-home orders and deliveries for quarter ended Sept. 30.

During the third quarter, orders were down 19% to 456, and deliveries were off 29% to 555. For the first nine months of the year, new contracts are down 30% to 1,540 and deliveries down 33% to 1,507.

The cancellation rate improved to 32% compared with 38% for the third quarter of 2007.

Backlog was down 46.8% in units to 781; sales value of homes in backlog was down 56% to $212 million. The average sales price of homes in backlog fell 11.4% to $272,000, down from $327,000 in last year's third quarter.

M/I cut its community count from 159 at the end of third quarter, 2007 to138 at the end of this year's quarter. The company ended the quarter with no borrowings against its $250 million unsecured credit facility.

M/I is scheduled to report earnings for the quarter on October 30.