Newport Beach-based William Lyon Homes Inc. said on Friday it posted an $8 million loss in the third quarter, an improvement from a year earlier but a $3.5 million increase from the prior quarter’s loss.

The latest quarterly loss was a 31% improvement for the privately held homebuilder, compared to a net loss of $11.6 million seen in the third quarter of 2009.

William Lyon reports financial results for the benefit of debt holders.

The company posted revenue of $75.3 million for the latest quarter, a 12% increase from a year earlier but a 13% drop from the prior quarter.

It reported 163 new home orders for the latest quarter, a 34% drop from a year ago and a 15% drop from the second quarter.

William Lyon Homes builds in California, Arizona and Nevada.

The company said it experienced slower absorption rates than anticipated during the prior quarter, as the economic recovery continues to be slower than anticipated.

New home orders for the first nine months of the year was 536 homes, down 23% from the same period of 2009.

The company took a $7.7 million write-down on real estate it owned in the third quarter, its biggest write-down of the year.