There are more signs that the money market is open again to home builders, and they're seizing the chance to push the due dates back on their debt.
Standard Pacific Homes had enough interest in its recent announcement of a $200 million bond issuance that it upsized the offering to $280 million.
"The demand came in a lot higher than we expected, and the yield came in where we wanted it to," said Standard Pacific CFO John Stephens.
The notes, which will come due in 2016, are priced at 91.997% of face value and carry a 10.75% interest rate. At least $175 million in the proceeds will be used to pay off bonds that are due over the next few years. The company has tendered offers to buy back debt due in August 2010, May 2011, and March 2013, with a preference toward paying off the earliest debt first.
Whatever cash from the bond sales isn't used in the recent tender offer will be used to pay off other company debt, which is substantial. At the end of 2008, Standard Pacific had $1.2 billion in debt, including senior notes due in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015. The $124 million in senior notes due in 2009 have been repaid.
"This is a very good thing for the company because it really clears a lot of space for us and gives us the ability to maneuver in the market," said Stephens of the bond offering. The downside is that the new debt at 10.75% carries a higher interest rate than the old bonds, which carry 6.5%, 6.875%, and 7.75% rates.
Beazer Homes USA also recently announced plans to issue new bonds due in 2017 to pay off old debt. The interest rate on the new debt would be 12% compared to the rates on the old debt it is paying off, which carried 6.5% to 8.125% rates.
It's that higher interest rate yield that makes the bonds attractive to investors.
"The yield is pretty high," said Steve Friedman, national director of home building services for Ernst & Young. "It's pretty hard for institutional investors to get those yields elsewhere for conservatively underwritten deals."