Atlanta-based residential builder Beazer Homes USA (BZH) lost $27.9m, or $0.72 per share, in its Q309 fiscal year, better than the $110m it lost in the year-ago period. Beazer, which builds homes in 16 states, closed 950 homes in the quarter, a 33.2% year-over-year decline. New orders were down 5% to 1,537. “Overall, margins continued to be negatively impacted by weak market conditions, impacting both closing volumes and pricing,” Beazer said in its quarterly report. However, Beazer’s cancellation rate improved to 23%, from nearly 30% in its fiscal second quarter and 36.8% in its fiscal third quarter last year. Beazer’s inventory of unsold homes numbers nearly 1,900 and has a sales value of more than $430m. That’s up from an inventory of nearly 1,300 homes with a sales value of $296.6m one quarter ago, but lower than the year-ago inventory of more than 2,700 homes worth $668.1m. Builders face fierce competition from the inventory of real estate owned (REO) properties on the market, and Beazer said it continues to substantially reduce its land and land development spending, which totaled $31.2 million in the third fiscal quarter, compared to $62.6 million for the same period in the prior year. Beazer repurchased senior notes in the open market and reduced its debt by $55.2m. Write to Austin Kilgore.