IRVINE, CA -- TRI Pointe Homes, Inc. announced record results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2013. Net income was $8.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to net income of $6.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2012. The improvement in net income was primarily driven by a $16.2 million increase in homebuilding gross margin due to higher home sales revenue and increased homebuilding gross margin percentages, offset by an increase in SG&A expense of $3.9 million and an increase in our provision for income taxes of $7.0 million.
Home sales revenue increased $63.8 million to $119.0 million for the 2013 fourth quarter, as compared to $55.2 million for the same period in 2012, primarily attributable to a significant increase in new homes delivered to 166 and an improvement in the Company's average sales price of homes delivered to $717,000. The growth in new home deliveries was due to a significant increase in our absorption during the first three quarters of 2013 which resulted in higher backlog going into the 2013 fourth quarter. The increase in the average sales price of homes delivered reflects increased pricing power and a change in product mix to more move-up product at our new communities compared to the prior year.
New home orders increased to 88 homes for the 2013 fourth quarter, as compared to 75 homes for the same period in 2012. The average sales price of homes in backlog increased $259,000, or 53%, to $749,000 compared to December 31, 2012.
The Company purchased 758 lots valued at $111.4 million during the 2013 fourth quarter, 364 of which were located in Southern California, 234 in Northern California and 160 in Colorado. Furthermore, an additional 349 lots were contracted or controlled during the fourth quarter, the majority of which were located in Southern California. As of December 31, 2013, the Company owned or controlled 3,466 lots, of which 2,282 are owned and actively selling or under development and 1,184 are controlled under land option contracts or purchase contracts. Of the 3,466 lots owned and controlled, 1,746 are in Southern California, 1,139 in Northern California and 581 in Colorado.
Thomas J. Mitchell, President and Chief Operating Officer, commented, "We continue to execute on our communicated strategy of growing our presence in high demand markets as evidenced by the ongoing additions of well-located land in our three core markets. Into 2014, we remain focused on adding new lots, diversifying our product offering and enhancing our operations as we continue to benefit from improving housing and economic momentum in our regional markets."