William Lyon Homes, Newport Beach, Calif. on Friday reported a net loss of $8 million for the three months ended September 30, 2010, a 31% improvement from results for the prior-year quarter. The loss included impairments of $7.7 million.

Lyon is not publicly traded but has $283 million in senior notes outstanding in the public market and thus reports financials for the benefit of bondholders.

Revenue rose 12% to $75.3 million for the quarter, as compared to $67.2 million for the comparable period a year ago. Home sales revenue increased 32% to $73.7 million for the three months ended September 30, 2010, as compared to $55.8 million for the comparable period a year ago.

The revenue increases came despite 15% drop in closings to 192 and a drop 25% in average community count to 18 primarily due to big increases in average prices, particularly in Southern California, which posted an increase of 60% to $437,400. Northern Calfornia prices rose by 38% to $390,200, and those in Nevada rose 22% to $255,600. The Phoenix division, however, saw the average price decline 15% to $162,100.

New orders fell 34% to 163 for the quarter as sales-per-community fell back to 9.1 from 10.3 at the end of September, 2009. The cancellation rate was 17%, down from 19% in last year¹s quarter and 18% in the previous 2010 quarter.

Backlog of homes sold but not closed was 173, down 46% from 320 at September 30, 2009 and down 14% from 202 at June 30, 2010. Backlog value was $70.1 million, down 14% from $81.2 million a year earlier and down 16% from $83.5 million at June 30, 2010.

Home building gross margin increased 360 basis points to 15.7% of sales($11.6 million). SG&A rose to $11.8 million from $8.1 million in the prior-year quarter.

The company owned or controlled 10,876 lots at quarter¹s end, down 3% from the same time last year. The bulk of the lots (10,208) were owned, with nearly 8,500 of them located in Arizona and Nevada.

The company ended the quarter with $71.9 million in cash, down from $117.6 million at the same time last year.