Standard Pacific Corp., a major U.S. homebuilder, announced that its third-quarter home new-home orders were up 15 percent over the third quarter of last year.

Total preliminary new-home orders for the third quarter reached 2,474 this year, compared with 2,148 in the third quarter of 2003.

In Northern California, new-home orders continued to reflect healthy demand for new housing and were up slightly over the year earlier period on the same number of active selling communities. The Northern California total for the 2004 third quarter includes 89 orders from four communities from its new Sacramento division.

In Southern California, net new-home orders were down 12 percent for the quarter, mostly because of slower sales in Orange County, while there was more activity in the Inland Empire, San Diego and Ventura divisions, Standard Pacific reported.

Total preliminary new-home orders in the third quarter dropped from 810 in the third quarter of last year to 761 this year in California, while orders in Florida increased from 464 in third-quarter 2003 to 710 in the third-quarter 2004.

In Florida, the 53 percent rise in orders came in spite of the record hurricane activity during the quarter. The lower sales rate per community during the quarter also reflects a conscious decision by the company to reduce the number of new homes for sale due to the strong backlog levels in our Florida markets. The company is generally experiencing strong demand for new housing throughout its Florida markets. The total for the 2004 third quarter period also includes 76 orders from 13 communities from Coppenbarger Homes in Jacksonville, which was acquired in October 2003.

In Arizona, 2004 third quarter orders were up 11 percent year-over-year on an 11 percent decline in the number of active selling communities. While housing demand in Arizona continued to be strong, the company has been regulating the release of new homes for sale in Phoenix to maximize gross margins and to better align sales with our backlog and production capabilities that have been constrained by the record setting permit level in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. The total for the third quarter this year also includes 46 orders from 5 communities from the company’s Tucson division that was acquired in August 2004.

The company’s cancellation rate for the 2004 third quarter was 18 percent compared to 20 percent for the 2003 third quarter. The company’s orders for the 2004 third quarter include 61 homes from 6 joint venture communities, compared to 133 homes from 8 joint venture communities in the 2003 third quarter.

Standard Pacific has built homes for more than 67,000 families during its 38-year history. The company constructs homes within a wide range of price and size and targets a broad range of buyers. Standard Pacific has operations in major metropolitan areas in California, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida and the Carolinas. The company provides mortgage financing and title services to home buyers through its subsidiaries and joint ventures, Family Lending Services, WRT Financial, Westfield Home Mortgage, Universal Land Title of South Florida and SPH Title.

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