We are a geographically diversified builder of single-family attached and detached homes. We construct homes within a wide range of price and size targeting a broad range of homebuyers. We have operations in major metropolitan markets in California, Florida, Arizona, Texas, the Carolinas, Colorado and Nevada and have built homes for more than 110,000 families during our 44-year history.
In addition to our core homebuilding operations, we also have a mortgage banking subsidiary that originates loans for our homebuyers which are generally sold in the secondary mortgage market and a title services subsidiary that acts as a title insurance agent performing title examination services for our Texas homebuyers.
Standard Pacific Corp. was incorporated in the State of Delaware in 1991. Through our predecessors, we commenced our homebuilding operations in 1966.
We currently build homes in 16 markets through a total of seven operating divisions. At December 31, 2009, we had 198 projects, of which 122 were actively selling (excluding unconsolidated joint ventures).
For the year ended December 31, 2009, approximately 74% of our deliveries were single-family detached dwellings. The remainder of our deliveries were single family attached homes, generally townhomes and condominiums configured with eight or fewer units per building.
Our homes are designed to suit the particular market in which they are located and are available in a variety of models, exterior styles and materials depending upon local preferences. While we have built homes from 1,100 to over 6,000 square feet, our homes typically range in size from approximately 1,500 to 3,500 square feet. The sales prices of our homes generally range from approximately $100,000 to over $1 million. Set forth below are our average selling prices by state (excluding joint ventures) of homes delivered during 2009:
Development and Construction
We customarily acquire unimproved or improved land zoned for residential use. To control larger land parcels, we sometimes form land development joint ventures with third parties which provide us the right to acquire a portion of the lots from the joint venture when developed. If we purchase raw land or partially developed land, we will perform development work on a project in addition to constructing homes. This development work may include negotiating with governmental agencies and local communities to obtain any necessary zoning, environmental and other regulatory approvals, and constructing, as necessary, roads, water, sewer and drainage systems, recreational facilities, and other improvements.
We act as a general contractor with our supervisory employees coordinating all development and construction work on a project. The services of independent architectural design, engineering and other consulting firms are generally engaged on a project-by-project basis to assist in project planning and home design, and subcontractors are employed to perform all of the physical development and construction work. Although the construction time for our homes varies from project to project depending on geographic region, the time of year, the size and complexity of the homes, local labor situations, the governmental approval processes, availability of materials and supplies, and other factors, we typically complete the construction of a home in approximately three to six months, with a current average cycle time of approximately four months.
Our homebuilding operations have historically experienced seasonal fluctuations. We typically experience the highest new home order activity in the spring and summer months, although new order activity is highly dependent on the number of active selling communities and the timing of new community openings as well as other market factors. Because it typically takes us three to six months to construct a new home, we typically deliver a greater number of homes in the second half of the calendar year as the prior orders are converted to home deliveries. As a result, our revenues from homebuilding operations are generally higher in the second half of the calendar year, particularly in the fourth quarter.
Sources and Availability of Raw Materials
We, either directly or through our subcontractors, purchase drywall, cement, steel, lumber, insulation and the other building materials necessary to construct a home. While these materials are generally widely available from a variety of sources, from time to time we experience serious material shortages on a localized basis, particularly during periods where the regions in which we operate experience natural disasters that have a significant impact on existing residential and commercial structures. During these periods, the prices for these materials can substantially increase and our construction process can be slowed.
Competitive Conditions in the Business
The homebuilding industry is fragmented and highly competitive. We compete with numerous other residential construction companies, including large national and regional firms, for customers, land, financing, raw materials, skilled labor and employees. We compete for customers primarily on the basis of the location, design, quality and price of our homes and the availability of mortgage financing. Some of our competitors have substantially larger operations and greater financial resources than we do and as a result may have lower costs of capital, labor and materials than us, and may be able to compete more effectively for land acquisition opportunities.
Under current market conditions, we have experienced intense price competition as many builders seek to aggressively reduce their inventory levels and land holdings. At the same time we are also competing with the resale of existing homes, rental homes, the “short-sale” of almost new homes and foreclosures. All of these factors have resulted in a substantial increase in the supply of homes available for sale at reduced prices, which may continue or increase, making it more difficult for us to sell our homes and to maintain our profit margins. Many of our competitors are better capitalized and have lower leverage than we do, which may position them to compete more effectively on price (which can trigger impairments for us), better enable them to ride out the current industry-wide downturn and allow them to compete more effectively for land when conditions improve.
As part of our ongoing operations, we provide mortgage loans to our homebuyers through our mortgage financing subsidiary, Standard Pacific Mortgage. Standard Pacific Mortgage’s principal sources of financing revenue are fees generated from loan originations, net gains on the sale of loans and net interest income earned on loans during the period they are held prior to sale. In addition to being a source of revenues, our mortgage operations benefit our homebuyers and complement our homebuilding operations by offering a dependable source of competitively priced financing, staffed by a team of professionals experienced in the new home purchase process and our sales and escrow procedures.
We sell substantially all of the loans we originate in the secondary mortgage market, with servicing rights released on a non-recourse basis. These sales are generally subject to our obligation to repay gain on sale if the loan is prepaid by the borrower within a certain time period following such sale, or to repurchase the loan if, among other things, the loan purchaser’s underwriting guidelines are not met or there is fraud in connection with the loan. As of December 31, 2009, we had been required to repurchase or pay make-whole premiums on 0.23% of the $5.6 billion total dollar value of the loans ($2.2 billion of which represented non-full documentation loans) we originated in the 2004-2009 period, and incurred approximately $3.5 million of related losses ($3.3 million for non-full documentation loans) during this period. However, as loan defaults in general increase, it is possible that we will be required to make a materially higher level of loan repurchases in the future. Under such a scenario current reserves might prove to be inadequate and we would be required to use additional cash and take additional charges to reflect the higher level of repurchase activity.
We manage the interest rate risk associated with making loan commitments and holding loans for sale by preselling loans. Preselling loans consists of obtaining commitments (subject to certain conditions) from third party investors to purchase the mortgage loans while concurrently extending interest rate locks to loan applicants. Before completing the sale to these investors, Standard Pacific Mortgage finances these loans under its mortgage credit facilities for a short period of time (typically for 15 to 30 days), while the investors complete their administrative review of the applicable loan documents. While preselling these loans reduces our risk, we remain subject to risk relating to purchaser non-performance, particularly during periods of significant market turmoil.