PULTEGROUP INC 10-K 2013
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
[X] ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012
[ ] TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Commission File Number 1-9804
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
100 Bloomfield Hills Parkway, Suite 300
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48304
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (248) 647-2750
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. YES [X] NO [ ]
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. YES [ ] NO [X]
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. YES [X] NO [ ]
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Act. YES [X] NO [ ]
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. [ ]
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer”, and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer [X] Accelerated filer [ ] Non-accelerated filer [ ] Smaller reporting company [ ]
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). YES [ ] NO [X]
The aggregate market value of the registrant’s voting stock held by nonaffiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2012, based on the closing sale price per share as reported by the New York Stock Exchange on such date, was $4,069,916,376.
As of February 1, 2013, the registrant had 386,598,562 shares of common stock outstanding.
Documents Incorporated by Reference
Applicable portions of the Proxy Statement for the 2013 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ITEM I. BUSINESS
PulteGroup, Inc. is a Michigan corporation organized in 1956. We are one of the largest homebuilders in the United States, and our common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “PHM”. Unless the context otherwise requires, the terms "PulteGroup", the "Company", "we", "us", and "our" used herein refer to PulteGroup, Inc. and its subsidiaries. While our subsidiaries engage primarily in the homebuilding business, we also have mortgage banking operations, conducted principally through Pulte Mortgage LLC (“Pulte Mortgage”), and title operations.
Homebuilding, our core business, includes the acquisition and development of land primarily for residential purposes within the United States and the construction of housing on such land. Homebuilding offers a broad product line to meet the needs of home buyers in our targeted markets. Through our brands, which include Pulte Homes, Del Webb, and Centex (acquired through our merger with Centex Corporation ("Centex") in August 2009), we offer a wide variety of home designs, including single-family detached, townhouses, condominiums, and duplexes at different prices and with varying levels of options and amenities to our major customer groups: entry-level, move-up, and active adult. Over our history, we have delivered over 600,000 homes.
As of December 31, 2012, we conducted our operations in 58 markets located throughout 28 states. For reporting purposes, our Homebuilding operations are aggregated into six reportable segments:
We also have a reportable segment for our financial services operations, which consist principally of mortgage banking and title operations. Our Financial Services segment operates generally in the same geographic markets as our Homebuilding segments.
Financial information for each of our reportable business segments is included in Note 5 to our Consolidated Financial Statements.
Our internet website address is www.pultegroupinc.com. Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act are available free of charge through our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file them with or furnish them to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Our code of ethics for principal officers, our code of ethical business conduct, our corporate governance guidelines, and the charters of the Audit, Compensation and Management Development, Nominating and Governance, and Finance and Investment committees of our Board of Directors are also posted on our website and are available in print, free of charge, upon request.
In recent years, the U.S. housing market experienced a significant decline in the demand for new homes as well as a sharp decline in overall residential real estate values. As a result of this industry-wide downturn, we suffered net losses in each year between 2007 - 2011 from a combination of reduced operational profitability and significant asset impairments. In response to these market conditions, we restructured our operations, including making significant reductions in employee headcount and overhead costs, and managed our business to generate cash, including curtailing our investments in inventory. We used this positive cash flow to, among other things, increase our cash reserves as well as retire outstanding debt.
In 2012, new home sales in the U.S. increased for the first time since 2005, rising 20% to 367,000 homes. However, this improvement was from a very low base as U.S. home sales in 2011 were the lowest since 1962. Although current volume remains very low compared to historical levels, the improved environment and our restructuring actions contributed to our return to profitability in 2012. In the long term, we continue to believe that the national publicly-traded builders will have a competitive advantage over local builders through their ability to leverage economies of scale, access to more reliable and lower cost financing through the capital markets, ability to control and entitle large land positions, and greater geographic and product diversification. Among the national publicly-traded peer group, we believe that builders with more significant land positions, broad geographic and product diversity, and sustainable capital positions will benefit as market conditions recover. In the short-term, we expect that overall market conditions will continue to improve but that improvements will occur unevenly across our markets. Our strategy to enhance shareholder value is centered around the following operational objectives:
Our Homebuilding operations are geographically diverse within the U.S. As of December 31, 2012, we had 670 active communities. Sales prices of unit closings during 2012 ranged from less than $100,000 to greater than $900,000, with 85% falling within the range of $100,000 to $400,000. The average unit selling price in 2012 was $276,000, compared with $259,000 in 2011, $259,000 in 2010, $258,000 in 2009, and $284,000 in 2008.
Sales of single-family detached homes, as a percentage of total unit sales, were 81% in 2012, compared with 79% in 2011, 79% in 2010, 77% in 2009, and 75% in 2008. The increase in the percentage of single-family detached homes can be attributed to a weakened demand for townhouses, condominiums, and other attached housing, as prices for detached new homes have become more affordable for entry-level and active adult homebuyers.
Ending backlog, which represents orders for homes that have not yet closed, was $1.9 billion (6,458 units) at December 31, 2012 and $1.1 billion (3,924 units) at December 31, 2011. For each order in backlog, we have received a signed customer contract and customer deposit, which is refundable in certain instances. Of the orders in backlog at December 31, 2012, substantially all are scheduled to be closed during 2013, though all orders are subject to potential cancellation by or final negotiations with the customer. In the event of cancellation, the majority of our sales contracts stipulate that we have the right to retain the customer’s deposit, though we may choose to refund the deposit in certain instances.
Land acquisition and development
We acquire land primarily for the construction of homes for sale to homebuyers, though we periodically sell select parcels of land to third parties for commercial or other development. Additionally, we may determine that certain land assets no longer fit into our strategic operating plans. We select locations for development of homebuilding communities after completing a feasibility study, which includes, among other things, soil tests, independent environmental studies and other engineering work, an evaluation of necessary zoning and other governmental entitlements, and extensive market research that enables us to match the location with our product offering to targeted consumer groups. We consider factors such as proximity to developed areas, population and job growth patterns and, if applicable, estimated development costs. We frequently manage a portion of the risk of controlling our land positions through the use of land option contracts, which enable us to defer acquiring portions of properties owned by land sellers until we have determined whether and when to exercise our option. Our use of land option agreements reduces our financial risks associated with long-term land holdings. We typically acquire land with the intent to complete sales of housing units within 24 to 36 months from the date of opening a community, except in the case of certain Del Webb active adult developments and other large master-planned projects for which the completion of community build-out requires a longer time period. While our overall supply of controlled land is in excess of our short-term needs in many of our markets, some of our controlled land consists of long-term positions that will not be converted to home sales in the near term. Accordingly, we remain active in our pursuit of new land investment.
Land is generally purchased after it is properly zoned and developed or is ready for development. In the normal course of business, we dispose of owned land not required by our homebuilding operations through sales to appropriate end users. Where we develop land, we engage directly in many phases of the development process, including land and site planning, and obtaining environmental and other regulatory approvals, as well as constructing roads, sewers, water and drainage facilities, and community amenities, such as parks, pools, and clubhouses. We use our staff and the services of independent engineers and consultants for land development activities. Land development work is performed primarily by independent contractors and local government authorities who construct sewer and water systems in some areas. At December 31, 2012, we controlled 119,875 lots, of which 103,060 were owned and 16,815 were under option agreements.
Sales and marketing
We are dedicated to improving the quality and value of our homes through innovative architectural and community designs. Analyzing various qualitative and quantitative data obtained through extensive market research, we stratify our potential customers into well-defined buyer groups. Such stratification provides a method for understanding the business opportunities and risks across the full spectrum of consumer groups in each market. Once the demands of potential buyers are understood, we link our home design and community development efforts to the specific lifestyle of each targeted consumer group. Through our portfolio of brands, each serving unique consumer groups, we are able to provide a distinct experience to potential customers:
The move-up buyers in our Pulte Homes communities tend to place more of a premium on location and amenities. These communities typically offer larger homes at higher price points. Our Centex brand is targeted to entry-level buyers, and these homes tend to be smaller with product offerings geared toward lower average selling prices. Through our Del Webb brand, we are better able to address the needs of active adults. Our Del Webb brand offers both destination communities and “in place” communities, for those buyers who prefer to remain in their current geographic area. These highly amenitized communities offer a variety of features, including golf courses, recreational centers, and educational classes, to the age fifty-five and over buyer to maintain an active lifestyle. In order to make the cost of these highly amenitized communities affordable to the individual homeowner, Del Webb communities tend to be very large, consisting in some cases of several thousand homes, and have longer life cycles, in some cases extending beyond 10 years.
We introduce our homes to prospective buyers through media advertising, illustrated brochures, Internet listings and link placements, mobile applications, and other advertising displays. We have made significant enhancements in our tools and business practices to adapt our selling efforts to today's mobile customers. In addition, our websites, www.pulte.com, www.delwebb.com, and www.centex.com, provide tools to help users find a home that meets their needs, investigate financing alternatives, communicate moving plans, maintain a home, learn more about us, and communicate directly with us. There were approximately 8.0 million unique visits to our websites during 2012, compared to approximately 6.7 million in 2011.
To meet the demands of our various customers, we have established design expertise for a wide array of product lines. We believe that we are an innovator in consumer-inspired home design, and we view our design capabilities as an integral aspect of our marketing strategy. Our in-house architectural services teams and management, supplemented by outside consultants, create distinctive design features, both in exterior facades and interior options and features. We typically offer a variety of potential options and upgrades, such as different flooring, countertop, and appliance choices, and design our base house and option packages to meet the needs of our customers as defined through rigorous market research. Energy efficiency represents an important source of value for new homes compared to existing homes and represents a key area of focus for our home designs, including high efficiency HVAC systems and insulation, low-emissivity windows, solar power in certain geographies, and other energy-efficient features.
Typically, our sales teams, together with outside sales brokers, are responsible for guiding the customer through the sales process. We are committed to industry-leading customer service through a variety of quality initiatives, including our customer care program, which ensures that homeowners are comfortable at every stage of the building process. Fully furnished and landscaped model homes are generally used to showcase our homes and their distinctive design features.
The construction of our homes is conducted under the supervision of our on-site construction field managers. Substantially all of our construction work is performed by independent subcontractors under contracts that, in many instances, cover both labor and materials on a fixed-price basis. Using a selective process, we have teamed up with what we believe are premier subcontractors and suppliers to improve all aspects of the house construction process.
Continuous improvement in our house construction process is a key area of focus. We maintain efficient construction operations by using standard materials and components from a variety of sources and utilizing standard construction practices, including lean production principles. Beginning in 2011, we implemented an intensive effort to improve our product offerings and production processes through the following programs:
The availability of labor and materials at reasonable prices is becoming an increasing concern for certain trades and building materials in some markets as the supply chain responds to uneven industry growth. Additionally, the cost of certain building materials, especially lumber, steel, concrete, copper, and petroleum-based materials, is influenced by changes in global commodity prices. To minimize the effects of changes in construction costs, the contracting and purchasing of building supplies and materials generally is negotiated at or near the time when related sales contracts are signed. In addition, we leverage our size by actively negotiating certain materials on a national or regional basis to minimize production component cost. We are also working to establish a more integrated system that can effectively link suppliers, contractors, and the production schedule. However, we cannot determine the extent to which necessary building materials and labor will be available at reasonable prices in the future.
The housing industry in the United States is fragmented and highly competitive. While we are one of the largest homebuilders in the U.S., our national market share represented only 5% of new home sales in 2012. In each of our local markets, there are numerous national, regional, and local homebuilders with whom we compete. Additionally, new home sales traditionally represent less than 15% of overall U.S. home sales (new and existing homes). Therefore, we also compete with sales of existing house inventory, and any provider of housing units, for sale or to rent, including apartment operators, may be considered a competitor. Conversion of apartments to condominiums further provides an alternative to traditional housing, as does manufactured housing. We compete primarily on the basis of location, price, quality, reputation, design, community amenities, and our customers' overall sales and homeownership experiences.
Our homebuilding operating cycle historically reflected increased revenues, profitability, and cash flow from operations during the fourth quarter based on the timing of home closings. While the challenging market conditions experienced in recent years lessened the seasonal variations of our results, we have experienced a return to a more traditional demand pattern as new orders were higher in the first half of the year and home closings increased in each quarter throughout the year. If and when the homebuilding industry more fully recovers from the recent downturn, we believe these traditional seasonal patterns will continue.
Regulation and environmental matters
Our operations are subject to extensive regulations imposed and enforced by various federal, state, and local governing authorities. These regulations are complex and include building codes, land zoning and other entitlement restrictions, health and safety regulations, labor practices, marketing and sales practices, environmental regulations, rules and regulations relating to mortgage financing operations, and various other laws, rules, and regulations. Collectively, these regulations have a significant impact on the site selection and development of our communities, our house design and construction techniques, our relationships with customers, employees, and suppliers / subcontractors, and many other aspects of our business. The applicable governing authorities frequently have broad discretion in administering these regulations, including inspections of our homes prior to closing with the customer in the majority of municipalities in which we operate.
Financial Services Operations
We conduct our financial services business, which includes mortgage and title operations, through Pulte Mortgage and other subsidiaries. Pulte Mortgage arranges financing through the origination of mortgage loans primarily for the benefit of our homebuyers. We are a lender approved by the FHA and VA and are a seller/servicer approved by Government National Mortgage Association ("Ginnie Mae"), Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae"), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation ("Freddie Mac"), and other investors. In our conventional mortgage lending activities, we follow underwriting guidelines established by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and private investors. We believe that our customers’ use of our in-house mortgage and title operations provides us with a competitive advantage by enabling more control over the quality of the overall home buying process for our customers while also helping us align the timing of the house construction process with our customers’ financing needs.
Operating as a captive business model primarily targeted to supporting our Homebuilding operations, the operating results of our Financial Services operations are highly correlated to Homebuilding. During 2012, 2011, and 2010, we originated mortgage loans for 67%, 61%, and 62%, respectively, of the homes we sold. Such originations represented substantially all of our total originations in each of those years. Our capture rate, which we define as loan originations from our homebuilding business as a percentage of total loan opportunities from our homebuilding business excluding cash settlements, was 81.9% in 2012, 78.5% in 2011, and 77.5% in 2010.
In originating mortgage loans, we initially use our own funds, including funds available pursuant to credit agreements with third parties, and subsequently sell such mortgage loans to outside investors. Substantially all of the loans we originate are sold in the secondary market within a short period of time after origination, generally within 30 days. We sell the servicing rights for the loans we originate through fixed price servicing sales contracts to reduce the risks and costs inherent in servicing loans. This strategy results in owning the servicing rights for only a short period of time.
The mortgage industry in the United States is highly competitive. We compete with other mortgage companies and financial institutions to provide attractive mortgage financing to our homebuyers. We utilize a centralized fulfillment center staffed with loan consultants to perform our mortgage underwriting, processing and closing functions. We believe centralizing both the fulfillment and origination of our loans improves the speed, efficiency, and quality of our mortgage operations, improving our profitability and allowing us to focus on providing attractive mortgage financing opportunities for our customers.
In originating and servicing mortgage loans, we are subject to the rules and regulations of the government-sponsored investors and other investors that purchase the loans we originate, as well as to those of other government agencies that have oversight of the government-sponsored investors or consumer lending rules in the U.S. In addition to being affected by changes in these programs, our mortgage banking business is also affected by many of the same factors that impact our homebuilding business.
Our mortgage operations may be responsible for losses associated with mortgage loans originated and sold to investors in the event of errors or omissions relating to representations and warranties that the loans sold meet certain requirements, including representations as to underwriting standards, the existence of primary mortgage insurance, and the validity of certain borrower representations in connection with the loan. If determined to be at fault, we either repurchase the loans from the investors or reimburse the investors' losses (a "make-whole" payment). Historically, our overall losses related to this risk were not significant. Beginning in 2009, however, we experienced a significant increase in losses as a result of the high level of loan defaults and related losses in the mortgage industry and increasing aggressiveness by investors in presenting such claims to us. To date, the significant majority of these losses relates to loans originated in 2006 and 2007, during which period inherently riskier loan products became more common in the mortgage origination market. Given the volatility in the mortgage industry and the uncertainty regarding the ultimate resolution of these claims, it is reasonably possible that future losses may exceed our current estimates.
Our subsidiary title insurance companies serve as title insurance agents in select markets by providing title insurance policies and examination and closing services to buyers of homes we sell. Historically, we have not experienced significant claims related to our title operations.
Financial Information About Geographic Areas
Substantially all of our operations are located within the United States. However, we have some non-operating foreign subsidiaries and affiliates, which are insignificant to our consolidated financial results.
All subsidiaries and operating units operate independently with respect to daily operations. Homebuilding real estate purchases and other significant homebuilding, mortgage banking, financing activities, and similar operating decisions must be approved by the business unit’s management and/or corporate senior management.
At December 31, 2012, we employed 3,634 people, of which 697 people were employed in our Financial Services operations. Except for a small group of employees in our St. Louis homebuilding division, our employees are not represented by any union. Contracted work, however, may be performed by union contractors. Our local and corporate management personnel are paid incentive compensation based on a combination of individual performance and the performance of the applicable business unit or the Company. Each business unit is given a level of autonomy regarding employment of personnel, although our senior corporate management acts in an advisory capacity in the employment of subsidiary officers. We consider our employee and contractor relations to be satisfactory.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
Discussion of our business and operations included in this annual report on Form 10-K should be read together with the risk factors set forth below. They describe various risks and uncertainties to which we are, or may become, subject. These risks and uncertainties, together with other factors described elsewhere in this report, have the potential to affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, strategies, or prospects in a material and adverse manner.
Downward changes in general economic, real estate construction, or other business conditions could adversely affect our business or our financial results.
The residential homebuilding industry is sensitive to changes in economic conditions and other factors, such as the level of employment, consumer confidence, consumer income, availability of financing, and interest rate levels. Adverse changes in any of these conditions generally, or in the markets where we operate, could decrease demand and pricing for new homes in these areas or result in customer cancellations of pending contracts, which could adversely affect the number of home deliveries we make or reduce the prices we can charge for homes, either of which could result in a decrease in our revenues and earnings and would adversely affect our financial condition.
The homebuilding industry experienced a significant downturn in recent years. Although industry conditions improved during 2012, the overall U.S. economy remains weak and the timing of a broad, sustainable recovery in the homebuilding industry remains uncertain. A deterioration in industry conditions could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
In recent years, the U.S. housing market was unfavorably impacted by severe weakness in new home sales attributable to, among other factors, weak consumer confidence, tightened mortgage standards, significant foreclosure activity, a more challenging appraisal environment, higher than normal unemployment levels, and significant uncertainty in the global economy. These conditions contributed to sharply weakened demand for new homes and heightened pricing pressures on new and existing home sales. As a result of these factors, we have experienced significant decreases in our revenues and profitability. We have also incurred substantial impairments of our land inventory and certain other assets. During 2012, overall industry new home sales increased, and we returned to profitability. However, the overall demand for new homes remains at low historical levels, and the timing of a broad, sustainable recovery in the homebuilding industry remains uncertain. Accordingly, we can provide no assurances that the adjustments we have made in our operating strategy will be successful.
If the market value of our land and homes drops significantly, our profits could decrease.
The market value of land, building lots and housing inventories can fluctuate significantly as a result of changing market conditions, and the measures we employ to manage inventory risk may not be adequate to insulate our operations from a severe drop in inventory values. We acquire land for expansion into new markets and for replacement of land inventory and expansion within our current markets. If housing demand decreases below what we anticipated when we acquired our inventory, we may not be able to make profits similar to what we have made in the past, we may experience less than anticipated profits, and/or we may not be able to recover our costs when we sell and build homes. When market conditions are such that land values are not appreciating, option arrangements previously entered into may become less desirable, at which time we may elect to forego deposits and pre-acquisition costs and terminate the agreement. In the face of adverse market conditions, we may have substantial inventory carrying costs, we may have to write down our inventory to its fair value, and/or we may have to sell land or homes at a loss.
As a result of the challenging market conditions in the homebuilding industry, we have incurred significant land-related charges resulting from the write-off of deposits and pre-acquisition costs related to land transactions we elected not to pursue, net realizable valuation adjustments related to land positions sold or held for sale, impairments on land assets related to communities under development or to be developed in the future, impairments of our investments in unconsolidated joint ventures, and impairments of our recorded goodwill. It is reasonably possible that the estimated cash flows from our projects may change and could result in a future need to record additional valuation adjustments. Additionally, if conditions in the homebuilding industry or our local markets worsen in the future or if our strategy related to certain communities changes, we may be required to evaluate our assets for additional impairments or write-downs, which could result in additional charges that might be significant.
Our success depends on our ability to acquire land suitable for residential homebuilding at reasonable prices, in accordance with our land investment criteria.
The homebuilding industry is highly competitive for suitable land. The availability of finished and partially finished developed lots and undeveloped land for purchase that meet our internal criteria depends on a number of factors outside our control, including land availability in general, competition with other homebuilders and land buyers for desirable property, inflation in land prices, zoning, allowable housing density, and other regulatory requirements. Should suitable lots or land become less available, the number of homes we may be able to build and sell could be reduced, and the cost of land could be increased, perhaps substantially, which could adversely impact our results of operations.
Our long-term ability to build homes depends on our acquiring land suitable for residential building at reasonable prices in locations where we want to build. In the past, we experienced significant competition for suitable land as a result of land constraints in many of our markets. As competition for suitable land increases, and as available land is developed, the cost of acquiring suitable remaining land could rise, and the availability of suitable land at acceptable prices may decline. Any land shortages or any decrease in the supply of suitable land at reasonable prices could limit our ability to develop new communities or result in increased land costs. We may not be able to pass through to our customers any increased land costs, which could adversely impact our revenues, earnings, and margins.
We are subject to claims related to mortgage loans we sold in the secondary mortgage market that may be significant.
Our mortgage operations may be responsible for losses associated with mortgage loans originated and sold to investors in the event of errors or omissions relating to certain representations and warranties that the loans sold meet certain requirements, including representations as to underwriting standards, the type of collateral, the existence of primary mortgage insurance, and the validity of certain borrower representations in connection with the loan. We may also be required to indemnify underwriters that purchased and securitized loans originated by a former subsidiary of Centex for losses incurred by investors in those securitized loans based on similar breaches of representations and warranties.
To date, the significant majority of these losses relate to loans originated in 2006 and 2007, during which period inherently riskier loan products became more common in the origination market. In 2006 and 2007, we originated $39.5 billion of loans, excluding loans originated by Centex's former subprime loan business sold by Centex in 2006.
In addition, we entered into an agreement in conjunction with the wind down of Centex’s mortgage operations, which ceased loan origination activities in December 2009, that provides a guaranty for one major investor of loans originated by Centex. This guaranty provides that we will honor the potential repurchase obligations of Centex’s mortgage operations related to breaches of similar representations in the origination of a certain pool of loans.
The resolution of claims related to alleged breaches of these representations and warranties and repurchase claims could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, cash flows and results of operations, and could exceed existing estimates and accruals. The repurchase liability we recorded is estimated based on several factors, including the level of current unresolved repurchase requests, the volume of estimated probable future repurchase requests, our ability to cure the defects identified in the repurchase requests, and the severity of the estimated loss upon repurchase. The factors referred to above are subject to change in light of market developments, the economic environment, and other circumstances, some of which are beyond our control. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that such reserves will not need to be increased in the future.
Future increases in interest rates, reductions in mortgage availability, or increases in the effective costs of owning a home could prevent potential customers from buying our homes and adversely affect our business and financial results.
A large majority of our customers finance their home purchases through mortgage loans, many through our mortgage bank. Interest rates have been near historical lows for several years, which has made new homes more affordable. Increases in interest rates or decreases in the availability of mortgage financing, however, could reduce the market for new homes. Potential homebuyers may be less willing or able to pay the increased monthly costs or to obtain mortgage financing that exposes them to interest rate changes. Lenders may increase the qualifications needed for mortgages or adjust their terms to address any increased credit risk. Even if potential customers do not need financing, changes in interest rates and mortgage availability could make it harder for them to sell their current homes to potential buyers who need financing. These factors could adversely affect the sales or pricing of our homes and could also reduce the volume or margins in our financial services business. Our financial services business could also be impacted to the extent we are unable to match interest rates and amounts on loans we have committed to originate through the various hedging strategies we employ. These developments have had, and may continue to have, a material adverse effect on the overall demand for new housing and thereby on the results of operations for our homebuilding business.
In addition, the Federal Reserve has purchased a sizeable amount of mortgage-backed securities in part to stabilize mortgage interest rates and to support the market for mortgage-backed securities. As the Federal Reserve reduces its holdings of mortgage-backed securities over time, the availability and affordability of mortgage loans, including the consumer interest rates for such loans, could be adversely affected.
We also believe that the availability of FHA and VA mortgage financing is an important factor in marketing some of our homes. The FHA has and may continue to impose stricter loan qualification standards, raise minimum down payment requirements, impose higher mortgage insurance premiums and other costs, and/or limit the number of mortgages it insures. The liquidity provided by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the mortgage industry is also critical to the housing market. The impact of the federal government’s conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on the short-term and long-term demand for new housing remains unclear. Any limitations or restrictions on the availability of financing by these agencies could adversely affect interest rates, mortgage financing, and our sales of new homes and mortgage loans.
Significant costs of homeownership include mortgage interest expense and real estate taxes, both of which are generally deductible for an individual’s federal and, in some cases, state income taxes. Any changes to income tax laws by the federal government or a state government to eliminate or substantially reduce these income tax deductions, as has been considered from time to time, would increase the after-tax cost of owning a home. Increases in real estate taxes by local governmental authorities also increase the cost of homeownership. Any such increases to the cost of homeownership could adversely impact the demand for and sales prices of new homes.
Adverse capital and credit market conditions may significantly affect our access to capital and cost of capital.
The capital and credit markets have experienced significant volatility in recent years. In many cases, the markets have exerted downward pressure on the availability of liquidity and credit capacity for issuers. We need liquidity for future growth and development of our business. Without sufficient liquidity, we may not be able to purchase additional land or develop land, which could adversely affect our financial results. At December 31, 2012, we had cash and equivalents of $1.4 billion as well as restricted cash totaling $72.0 million. However, our internal sources of liquidity may prove to be insufficient, and in such case, we may not be able to successfully obtain additional financing on terms acceptable to us, or at all.
Another source of liquidity includes our ability to use letters of credit and surety bonds pursuant to certain performance-related obligations and as security for certain land option agreements and under various insurance programs. The majority of these letters of credit and surety bonds are in support of our land development and construction obligations to various municipalities, other government agencies, and utility companies related to the construction of roads, sewers, and other infrastructure. At December 31, 2012, we had outstanding letters of credit and surety bonds totaling $179.2 million and $1.0 billion, respectively. Of these amounts outstanding, $54.5 million of the letters of credit were subject to cash-collateralized agreements while the remaining letters of credit and surety bonds were unsecured. If we are unable to obtain letters of credit or surety bonds when required, or the conditions imposed by issuers increase significantly, our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
Competition for homebuyers could reduce our deliveries or decrease our profitability.
The housing industry in the United States is highly competitive. We compete primarily on the basis of location, price, quality, reputation, design, community amenities, and our customers' overall sales and homeownership experiences. We compete in each of our markets with numerous national, regional, and local homebuilders. This competition with other homebuilders could reduce the number of homes we deliver or cause us to accept reduced margins in order to maintain sales volume.
We also compete with resales of existing or foreclosed homes, housing speculators, and available rental housing. Increased competitive conditions in the residential resale or rental market in the regions where we operate could decrease demand for new homes or unfavorably impact pricing for new homes.
Supply shortages and other risks related to the demand for skilled labor and building materials could increase costs and delay deliveries.
The homebuilding industry is highly competitive for skilled labor and materials. Additionally, the cost of certain building materials, especially lumber, steel, concrete, copper, and petroleum-based materials, is influenced by changes in global commodity prices. Increased costs or shortages of skilled labor and/or materials could cause increases in construction costs and construction delays. We may not be able to pass on increases in construction costs to customers and generally are unable to pass on any such increases to customers who have already entered into sales contracts as those sales contracts generally fix the price of the home at the time the contract is signed, which may be well in advance of the construction of the home. Sustained increases in construction costs may, over time, erode our margins, and pricing competition for materials and labor may restrict our ability to pass on any such additional costs, thereby decreasing our margins.
Our income tax provision and tax reserves may be insufficient if a taxing authority is successful in asserting positions that are contrary to our interpretations and related reserves, if any.
Significant judgment is required in determining our provision for income taxes and our reserves for federal, state, and local taxes. In the ordinary course of business, there may be matters for which the ultimate outcome is uncertain. Our evaluation of our tax matters is based on a number of factors, including changes in facts or circumstances, changes in tax law, correspondence with tax authorities during the course of audits, and effective settlement of audit issues. Although we believe our approach to determining the tax treatment for such items is appropriate, no assurance can be given that the final tax authority review will not be materially different than that which is reflected in our income tax provision and related tax reserves. Such differences could have a material adverse effect on our income tax provision in the period in which such determination is made and, consequently, on our financial position or net income for such period.
We are periodically audited by various federal, state, and local authorities regarding tax matters. Our current audits are in various stages of completion; however, no outcome for a particular audit can be determined with certainty prior to the conclusion of the audit, appeal and, in some cases, litigation process. As each audit is concluded, adjustments, if any, are recorded in our financial statements in the period determined. To provide for potential tax exposures, we maintain tax reserves based on reasonable estimates of potential audit results. If these reserves are insufficient upon completion of an audit, there could be an adverse impact on our financial position and results of operations.
We may not realize our deferred income tax assets.
The ultimate realization of our deferred income tax assets is dependent upon generating future taxable income and executing tax planning strategies. We have recorded valuation allowances against our deferred income tax assets. The valuation allowance will fluctuate as conditions change.
Our ability to utilize net operating losses (“NOLs”), built-in losses (“BILs”), and tax credit carryforwards to offset our future taxable income would be limited if we were to undergo an “ownership change” within the meaning of Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “IRC”). In general, an “ownership change” occurs whenever the percentage of the stock of a corporation owned by “5-percent shareholders” (within the meaning of Section 382 of the IRC) increases by more than 50 percentage points over the lowest percentage of the stock of such corporation owned by such “5-percent shareholders” at any time over the testing period.
An ownership change under Section 382 of the IRC would establish an annual limitation to the amount of NOLs, BILs, and tax credit carryforwards we could utilize to offset our taxable income in any single year. The application of these limitations might prevent full utilization of the deferred tax assets attributable to our NOLs, BILs, and tax credit carryforwards. We have not experienced an ownership change as defined by Section 382. To preserve our ability to utilize NOLs, BILs, and other tax benefits in the future without a Section 382 limitation, we adopted a shareholder rights plan, which is triggered upon certain transfers of our securities, and amended our by-laws to prohibit certain transfers of our securities. Notwithstanding the foregoing measures, there can be no assurance that we will not undergo an ownership change within the meaning of Section 382.
As a result of the merger with Centex in August 2009, our ability to use certain of Centex’s pre-ownership change NOLs, BILs, and deductions is limited under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code. The applicable Section 382 limitation is approximately $67.4 million per year for NOLs, losses realized on built-in loss assets that are sold within 60 months of the ownership change (i.e. before August 2014), and certain deductions. We do not believe that the Section 382 limitation will prevent the Company from using Centex's pre-ownership change NOL carryforwards and built-in losses or deductions.
The value of our deferred tax assets is also dependent upon the tax rates expected to be in effect at the time taxable income is expected to be generated. A decrease in enacted corporate tax rates in our major jurisdictions, especially the U.S. federal corporate tax rate, would decrease the value of our deferred tax assets, which could be material.
We have significant intangible assets. If these assets become impaired, then our profits and shareholders’ equity may be reduced.
We have significant intangible assets related to prior business combinations. We evaluate the recoverability of intangible assets whenever facts and circumstances indicate the carrying amount may not be recoverable. If the carrying value of intangible assets is deemed impaired, the carrying value is written down to fair value. This would result in a charge to our operating earnings. If management’s expectations of future results and cash flows decrease significantly, impairments of the remaining intangible assets may occur.
Government regulations could increase the cost and limit the availability of our development and homebuilding projects or affect our related financial services operations and adversely affect our business or financial results.
Our operations are subject to building, environmental, and other regulations imposed and enforced by various federal, state, and local governing authorities. New housing developments may also be subject to various assessments for schools, parks, streets, and other public improvements. These can cause an increase in the effective cost of our homes.
We also are subject to a variety of local, state, and federal laws and regulations concerning protection of health, safety, and the environment. The impact of environmental laws varies depending upon the prior uses of the building site or adjoining properties and may be greater in areas with less supply where undeveloped land or desirable alternatives are less available. These matters may result in delays, may cause us to incur substantial compliance, remediation and other costs, and can prohibit or severely restrict development and homebuilding activity in environmentally sensitive regions or areas. More stringent requirements could be imposed in the future on homebuilders and developers, thereby increasing the cost of compliance.
Our financial services operations are also subject to numerous federal, state, and local laws and regulations. These include eligibility requirements for participation in federal loan programs and compliance with consumer lending and similar requirements such as disclosure requirements, prohibitions against discrimination, and real estate settlement procedures. They also subject our operations to examination by applicable agencies, pursuant to which those agencies may limit our ability to provide mortgage financing or title services to potential purchasers of our homes. For our homes to qualify for FHA or VA mortgages, we must satisfy valuation standards and site, material, and construction requirements of those agencies.
On January 10, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau adopted new rules regarding the origination of mortgages, including the criteria for “qualified mortgages”. The new rules are scheduled to go into effect in January 2014. We are in the process of analyzing the new rules and the impact such rules will have on our business. Additionally, many other rules required by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 have not yet been completed or implemented, which has created uncertainty in the overall U.S. financial services and mortgage industries as to their long-term impact.
Homebuilding is subject to warranty and other claims in the ordinary course of business that can be significant.
As a homebuilder, we are subject to home warranty, construction defect, and other claims arising in the ordinary course of business. We record warranty and other reserves for the homes we sell based on historical experience in our markets and our judgment of the qualitative risks associated with the types of homes built. We have, and require our subcontractors to have, general liability, property, errors and omissions, workers compensation, and other business insurance. These insurance policies protect us against a portion of our risk of loss from claims, subject to certain self-insured per occurrence and aggregate retentions, deductibles, and available policy limits. We reserve for costs to cover our self-insured and deductible amounts under these policies and for any costs of claims and lawsuits based on an analysis of our historical claims, which includes an estimate of claims incurred but not yet reported. Because of the uncertainties inherent in these matters, we cannot provide assurance that our insurance coverage, our subcontractor arrangements, and our reserves will be adequate to address all our warranty and construction defect claims in the future. Contractual indemnities can be difficult to enforce, we may be responsible for applicable self-insured retentions, and some types of claims may not be covered by insurance or may exceed applicable coverage limits. Additionally, the coverage offered by and the availability of general liability insurance for construction defects are currently costly and limited. We have responded to the recent increases in insurance costs and coverage limitations by increasing our self-insured retentions and claim reserves. There can be no assurance that coverage will not be further restricted and become more costly. Additionally, we are exposed to counterparty default risk related to our and our subcontractors’ insurance carriers.
Natural disasters and severe weather conditions could delay deliveries, increase costs, and decrease demand for new homes in affected areas.
Our homebuilding operations are located in many areas that are subject to natural disasters and severe weather. The occurrence of natural disasters or severe weather conditions can delay new home deliveries, increase costs by damaging inventories, reduce the availability of materials, and negatively impact the demand for new homes in affected areas. Furthermore, if our insurance does not fully cover business interruptions or losses resulting from these events, our earnings, liquidity, or capital resources could be adversely affected.
Inflation may result in increased costs that we may not be able to recoup.
Inflation can have a long-term impact on us because increasing costs of land, materials, and labor may require us to increase the sales prices of homes in order to maintain satisfactory margins. However, we may not be able to raise home prices sufficiently to keep up with the rate of inflation and our margins could decrease. In addition, inflation is often accompanied by higher interest rates, which could have a negative impact on housing demand.
Information technology failures or data security breaches could harm our business.
We use information technology and other computer resources to carry out important operational activities and to maintain our business records. Our computer systems, including our back-up systems, are subject to damage or interruption from power outages, computer and telecommunications failures, computer viruses, security breaches (through cyber-attacks from computer hackers and sophisticated organizations), catastrophic events such as fires, tornadoes and hurricanes, and usage errors by our associates. If our computer systems and our back-up systems are damaged, breached, or cease to function properly, we could suffer interruptions in our operations or unintentionally allow misappropriation of proprietary or confidential information (including information about our homebuyers and business partners), which could require us to incur significant costs to remediate or otherwise resolve these issues.
Future terrorist attacks against the United States or increased domestic and international instability could have an adverse effect on our operations.
A future terrorist attack against the U.S. could cause a sharp decrease in the number of new contracts signed for homes and an increase in the cancellation of existing contracts. Accordingly, adverse developments in the war on terrorism, future terrorist attacks against the U.S., or increased domestic and international instability could adversely affect our business.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
Our homebuilding and corporate headquarters are located in leased office facilities at 100 Bloomfield Hills Parkway, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48304. Pulte Mortgage leases its primary office facilities in Englewood, Colorado, and we also maintain various support functions in leased facilities near Phoenix, Arizona. Our homebuilding divisions and financial services branches lease office space in the geographic locations in which they conduct their day-to-day operations.
Because of the nature of our homebuilding operations, significant amounts of property are held as inventory in the ordinary course. Such properties are not included in response to this Item.
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
We are involved in various legal and governmental proceedings incidental to our continuing business operations, many involving claims related to certain construction defects. The consequences of these matters are not presently determinable but, in our opinion, after consulting with legal counsel and taking into account insurance and reserves, the ultimate liability is not expected to have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial position, or cash flows. However, to the extent the liability arising from the ultimate resolution of any matter exceeds our estimates reflected in the recorded reserves relating to such matter, we could incur additional charges that could be significant.
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
This Item is not applicable.
ITEM 4A. EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT
Set forth below is certain information with respect to our executive officers.
The following is a brief account of the business experience of each officer during the past five years:
Mr. Dugas was appointed Chairman in August 2009 and President and Chief Executive Officer in July 2003. Previously, he was appointed Chief Operating Officer in May 2002 and Executive Vice President in December 2002. Since joining our company in 1994, he has served in a variety of management positions.
Mr. O'Shaughnessy was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in May 2011. Prior to joining our company, he held a number of financial roles at Penske Automotive Group from 1997 to 2011, most recently as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
Mr. Smith was appointed Executive Vice President - Homebuilding Operations and Area President, Texas, in May 2012, and previously held the position of Area President, Gulf Coast since 2008. He has served as an Area President over various geographical markets since 2006.
Mr. Ellinghausen was appointed Executive Vice President, Human Resources in December 2006.
Ms. Meyer was appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer in September 2009. Prior to joining our company, Ms. Meyer held various senior marketing positions, most recently serving as Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Chrysler, LLC from August 2007 to December 2008.
Mr. Cook was appointed Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary in December 2008 and previously held the position of Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary since February 2006.
Mr. Schlageter was appointed Area President, Northeast in November 2012 and previously held the positions of Vice President - Strategic Planning since October 2010 and Division President - Raleigh since November 2003.
Mr. Marshall was appointed Area President, Southeast in November 2012 and previously held the positions of Area President, Florida since May 2012 and Division President - South Florida since 2006.
Mr. Beirne was appointed Area President, Central in 2012 and has served as an Area President over various geographical markets since 2006.
Mr. Chadwick was appointed Area President, Southwest in 2012 and previously served as Division President - Arizona. Since 2006, Mr. Chadwick has held the position of Area President or Division President over various geographical markets.
Mr. Schweninger was appointed Vice President and Controller effective March 2009. Since joining our company in 2005, he also has held the positions of Director – Finance & Accounting Process Improvement and Director of Corporate Audit.
There is no family relationship between any of the officers. Each officer serves at the pleasure of the Board of Directors.
Our common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (Symbol: PHM).
Related Stockholder Matters
The table below sets forth, for the quarterly periods indicated, the range of high and low closing prices for our common shares.
At February 1, 2013, there were 2,983 shareholders of record. No dividends were declared during 2012 or 2011.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities (1)
The information required by this item with respect to equity compensation plans is set forth under Item 12 of this annual report on Form 10-K and is incorporated herein by reference.
The following line graph compares for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 (a) the yearly cumulative total shareholder return (i.e., the change in share price plus the cumulative amount of dividends, assuming dividend reinvestment, divided by the initial share price, expressed as a percentage) on PulteGroup’s common shares, with (b) the cumulative total return of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index, and with (c) the Dow Jones U.S. Select Home Construction Index. The Dow Jones U.S. Select Home Construction Index is a widely-recognized index comprised primarily of large national homebuilders. We believe comparison of our shareholder return to this index represents a meaningful analysis for investors.
COMPARISON OF FIVE YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN*
AMONG PULTEGROUP, INC., S&P 500 INDEX, AND PEER INDEX
Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2012
* Assumes $100 invested on December 31, 2007, and the reinvestment of dividends.
ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
Set forth below is selected consolidated financial data for each of the past five fiscal years. The selected financial data should be read in conjunction with Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and our Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto included elsewhere in this report.
In 2012, new home sales in the U.S. increased for the first time since 2005. Although this volume remains very low compared to historical levels, the improved environment and our restructuring actions contributed to our return to profitability in 2012 as net new orders, closings, revenues, gross margin, and overhead leverage all improved compared with 2011. During the year, our net new orders increased 25% over 2011 from 4% fewer active communities. We also generated significant positive operating cash flow, highlighting some of the benefits of our efforts to improve our capital efficiency. By using our existing land assets more efficiently, allocating capital more effectively, and controlling unsold ("spec") inventory, we continued to enhance our balance sheet and position the Company to deliver higher long-term returns.
While the timing of a broad, sustainable recovery in the homebuilding industry remains uncertain, we believe that new home demand is moving along a path toward recovery. The value in new housing resulting from affordable prices, low mortgage rates, escalating rents, and more energy-efficient homes is providing consumers with a compelling reason to buy a new home, especially relative to the ever more expensive rental market and the tightened supply of available existing homes. In the short term, we believe that 2013 will be a better year for U.S. housing than 2012 in spite of continued high levels of unemployment and related low levels of consumer confidence, a challenging U.S. macroeconomic environment, and potential regulatory reforms that may impact the housing and mortgage industries. In the long term, we continue to believe that the national publicly-traded builders will have a competitive advantage over local builders through their ability to leverage economies of scale at a local level, access to more reliable and lower cost financing through the capital markets, ability to control and entitle large land positions, and greater geographic and product diversification. Among the national publicly-traded peer group, we believe that builders with more significant land positions, broad geographic and product diversity, and sustainable capital positions will benefit as market conditions recover. We continue to focus on our primary operational objectives:
Continued focus on these operational objectives, combined with improvements in industry conditions, have resulted in a return to profitability in our homebuilding operations and an increase in profits in our financial services businesses.
The following is a summary of our operating results by line of business ($000's omitted, except per share data):
For additional information on each of the above, see the applicable Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Our Homebuilding operating results improved significantly from the losses experienced in 2011 and 2010 as the result of the lower charges listed in the above table, as well as higher revenues, increased gross margins, and improved overhead leverage.
The following is a summary of income (loss) before income taxes for our Homebuilding operations ($000’s omitted):
Home sale revenues
Home sale revenues for 2012 were higher than 2011 by $601.7 million, or 15%. The increase was attributable to a 7% increase in the average selling price combined with an 8% increase in closings. The increase in average selling price reflects an ongoing shift in our revenue mix toward move-up buyers and improved market conditions. The increase in closings was realized from 4% fewer active communities and was concentrated primarily in our North and Southwest segments.
Home sale revenues for 2011 were lower than 2010 by $469.1 million, or 11%. The decrease was attributable to an 11% decrease in closings as average selling prices remained stable from 2010 to 2011. The decline in closings for 2011 compared with 2010 occurred in each of our Homebuilding segments, except for Florida, and resulted primarily from lower industry volumes, in part due to the expiration of the federal homebuyer tax credit that existed during 2010. This tax credit favorably impacted new orders and closings during the first half of 2010, in part we believe by pulling forward customer demand. The 11% decrease in our active communities also contributed to the lower closings.
Home sale gross margins
Home sale gross margins were 15.8% in 2012, compared with 12.8% in 2011 and 9.4% in 2010. Gross margins during 2012 and 2011 benefited from lower land and community valuation adjustments of $13.4 million and $15.9 million, respectively, compared to $169.7 million in 2010. The increase in gross margins was despite increased capitalized interest amortization, which reduced gross margins by 10 basis points and 70 basis points in 2012 and 2011, respectively, as compared with the comparable prior year periods. The higher capitalized interest amortization was attributable primarily to debt assumed with our 2009 merger with Centex.
Excluding the impact of land and community valuation adjustments and capitalized interest amortization, adjusted home sale gross margins improved to 20.9% in 2012 from 17.9% in 2011 and 16.7% in 2010 (see the Non-GAAP Financial Measures section for a reconciliation of adjusted home sale gross margins). These improved gross margins reflect a combination of factors, including shifts in the product mix of homes closed toward move-up buyers, better alignment of our product offering with current market conditions, contributions from our strategic pricing and house cost reduction objectives, and, in 2012, an improved demand and pricing environment.
We periodically elect to sell parcels of land to third parties in the event such assets no longer fit into our strategic operating plans or are zoned for commercial or other development. Land sale revenues and their related gains or losses vary between periods, depending on the timing of land sales and our strategic operating decisions. Land sales had margin contributions of $11.8 million, $23.6 million, and $(25.7) million in 2012, 2011, and 2010, respectively. These margin contributions included net realizable value adjustments related to land held for sale totaling $1.5 million, $9.8 million, and $39.1 million in 2012, 2011, and 2010, respectively.
In order to reduce overhead costs, we have reconfigured our organization in recent years to better align our overhead structure with expected volumes. These actions have included consolidating many local divisions along with reducing corporate and support staffing across a number of functions. As a result, SG&A as a percentage of home sale revenues dropped from 13.2% in 2011 to 11.3% in 2012. The gross dollar amount of our SG&A decreased $5.1 million, or 1%, in 2012 compared to 2011 due to this improved overhead leverage, partially offset primarily by higher incentive compensation resulting from our improved operating results.
The gross dollar amount of our SG&A decreased $375.5 million, or 42%, in 2011 compared to 2010 while SG&A as a percentage of home sale revenues dropped to 13.2% in 2011 from 20.3% in 2010. SG&A in 2010 included $280.4 million in insurance reserve adjustments, substantially all of which related to general liability construction defect claims (see Note 13 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional discussion of insurance reserve adjustments). Excluding these insurance reserve adjustments, SG&A as a percentage of home sale revenues was 13.2% and 13.9% in 2011 and 2010, respectively. (See the Non-GAAP Financial Measures section for a reconciliation of SG&A as a percentage of home sale revenue, excluding insurance reserve adjustments). This improved overhead leverage resulted from a combination of better matching our overall cost structure with the current business environment and lower severance and equity compensation expense in 2011 compared to 2010.
Equity in (earnings) loss of unconsolidated entities
Equity in (earnings) loss of unconsolidated entities was $(3.9) million, $(3.2) million, and $(2.8) million for 2012, 2011, and 2010, respectively. The majority of our unconsolidated entities represent land development joint ventures. As a result, the timing of income and losses varies between periods depending on the timing of transactions and circumstances specific to each entity.
Other expense (income), net
Other expense (income), net includes the following ($000’s omitted):
For additional information on each of the above, see the applicable Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements. Miscellaneous expense (income), net includes $5.1 million in 2012 and $17.1 million in 2011 related to the write-down of notes receivable.
Interest income, net
The increase in interest income, net for 2012 compared with 2011 resulted primarily from higher invested cash balances. The decrease in interest income, net in 2011 compared with 2010 resulted from lower invested cash balances.
Net new orders
Net new orders increased 25% in 2012 compared with 2011 while selling from 4% fewer active communities in 2012 (670 at December 31, 2012). The increase in net new orders was broad-based as each of our reportable segments experienced increases during 2012, with the largest increases occurring in our North and Southwest segments. The cancellation rate (canceled orders for the period divided by gross new orders for the period) was 15% in 2012 compared to 19% in 2011. Ending backlog units, which represent orders for homes that have not yet closed, increased 65% at December 31, 2012 compared with December 31, 2011, due to the increase in net new orders.
Net new order levels were essentially flat for 2011 compared with 2010. Net new orders reflected the impact of the federal homebuyer tax credit that expired during 2010, which favorably impacted new orders during the first half of 2010, and the reduced number of active communities in 2011. At December 31, 2011, we had 700 active communities, a decrease of 11% from December 31, 2010. The cancellation rate for 2011 was unchanged from 2010 at 19%. Ending backlog was essentially flat at December 31, 2011 compared with December 31, 2010, consistent with the overall new order levels.
Homes in production
The following is a summary of our homes in production at December 31, 2012 and 2011:
The slight decrease in homes in production at December 31, 2012 compared to December 31, 2011 is the result of a significant reduction in homes unsold to customers ("spec homes"), largely offset by a large increase in the number of sold homes in production. Reducing our reliance on sales of spec homes is a component of our strategic pricing and inventory turns objectives, so we focused in 2012 on lowering the overall level of spec home inventory, especially completed specs ("final specs"). The increase in sold homes in production resulted from the significant increase in net new orders and backlog.
The following is a summary of our lots under control at December 31, 2012 and 2011:
Of our controlled lots, 103,060 and 116,933 were owned and 9,634 and 10,060 were under option agreements approved for purchase at December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively. In addition, there were 7,181 and 4,017 lots under option agreements pending approval at December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively. While we continue to purchase land positions where it makes strategic and economic sense to do so, the reduction in lots resulting from closings, land disposition activity, and withdrawals from land option contracts exceeded the number of lots added by new transactions during the year ended December 31, 2012. This trend is consistent with our focus on improving our inventory turns.
The remaining purchase price under our land option agreements totaled $923.4 million at December 31, 2012. These land option agreements, which generally may be canceled at our discretion and in certain cases extend over several years, are secured by deposits and pre-acquisition costs totaling $70.1 million, of which only $2.9 million is refundable.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
This report contains information about our home sale gross margins and selling, general and administrative expenses (“SG&A”) reflecting certain adjustments. These measures are considered non-GAAP financial measures under the SEC's rules and should be considered in addition to, rather than as a substitute for, the comparable GAAP financial measures as measures of our operating performance. Management and our local divisions use these measures in evaluating the operating performance of each community and in making strategic decisions regarding sales pricing, construction and development pace, product mix, and other daily operating decisions. We believe they are relevant and useful measures to investors for evaluating our performance through (1) gross profit generated on homes delivered during a given period and (2) the efficiency of our overhead cost structure and for comparing our operating performance to other companies in the homebuilding industry. Although other companies in the homebuilding industry report similar information, the methods used may differ. We urge investors to understand the methods used by other companies in the homebuilding industry to calculate gross margins and SG&A and any adjustments thereto before comparing our measures to that of such other companies.
The following tables set forth reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to the GAAP financial measures that management believes to be most directly comparable ($000's omitted):
Homebuilding Segment Operations
Our homebuilding operations represent our core business. Homebuilding offers a broad product line to meet the needs of homebuyers in our targeted markets. As of December 31, 2012, we conducted our operations in 58 markets located throughout 28 states. For reporting purposes, our Homebuilding operations are aggregated into six reportable segments:
We also have a reportable segment for our financial services operations, which consist principally of mortgage banking and title operations. The Financial Services segment operates generally in the same markets as the Homebuilding segments.
The following table presents selected financial information for our reportable Homebuilding segments:
The following tables present additional selected financial information for our reportable Homebuilding segments: