The homebuilding segments reported pretax earnings of $32.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to pretax earnings of $7.0 million for the same period in 2011. This increase was primarily due to a rise in closing volume; higher housing gross profit margin, including lower inventory and other valuation adjustments and write-offs; and a reduced selling, general and administrative expense ratio, partially offset by higher interest expense.

Homebuilding revenues increased 67.7 percent to $427.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to $254.9 million for the same period in 2011. This rise in homebuilding revenues was primarily attributable to a 58.9 percent increase in closings that totaled 1,567 units for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, compared to 986 units for the same period in the prior year, as well as to a 5.9 percent increase in average closing price, which was $270,000 for the fourth quarter of 2012, versus $255,000 for the same period in 2011. Homebuilding revenues for the fourth quarter of 2012 included $3.8 million from land sales, which resulted in pretax earnings of $981,000, compared to homebuilding revenues for the fourth quarter of 2011 that included $3.1 million from land sales, which resulted in pretax earnings of $228,000.

New orders increased 64.1 percent to 1,493 units for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, compared to new orders of 910 units for the same period in 2011. The Company had an average monthly sales absorption rate of 2.1 homes per community for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, versus 1.4 homes per community for the quarter ended December 31, 2011, and an average cancellation rate of 17.9 percent for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, versus 21.4 percent for the same period in 2011. For the fourth quarter of 2012, new order dollars increased 82.0 percent to $425.9 million from $234.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2011. At December 31, 2012, backlog increased 61.4 percent to 2,391 units from 1,481 units at December 31, 2011. At the end of the fourth quarter of 2012, the dollar value of the Company’s backlog was $663.4 million, reflecting a 73.8 percent rise from the end of the prior year.

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