Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc (TOL.N) posted a wider fourth-quarter loss, but said it was seeing some signs of recovery from a declining cancellation rate and improved pace of contract signings.

Fourth-quarter net loss was $111.4 million, or 68 cents a share, compared with a loss of $78.8 million, or 49 cents a share, a year ago.

Toll Brothers said its loss included $85.5 million of pretax non-cash inventory write-downs and a pretax charge of $11.6 million due to the early retirement of debt.

Homebuilding revenue dropped 30 percent to $486.6 million.

Analysts were expecting a loss of 46 cents a share on revenue of $450.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net signed contracts for the quarter were 765 units, up 42 percent in units from last year.

The company said contract cancellation rate was 6.9 percent in the quarter, in line with its pre-downturn historical averages.

However, Toll Brothers Chief Executive Robert Toll said, The choppiness in demand that began after Labor Day, following a stronger period from late March through late August, has continued.

The holiday season is not typically the busiest time to be buying or selling homes, and the housing market may be following seasonal buying patterns, he added.

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(Reporting by Deepti Govind in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan