Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
TRI Pointe Group, Inc. (“TRI Pointe Group”) is engaged in the design, construction and sale of innovative single-family attached and detached homes through its portfolio of six quality brands across ten states, including Maracay in Arizona, Pardee Homes in California and Nevada, Quadrant Homes in Washington, Trendmaker Homes in Texas, TRI Pointe Homes in California, Colorado and the Carolinas and Winchester Homes in Maryland and Virginia.
Basis of Presentation
The accompanying financial statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) as contained within the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”).
The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Company, its wholly owned subsidiaries as well as other entities in which the Company has a controlling interest and variable interest entities (“VIEs”) in which the Company is the primary beneficiary. The noncontrolling interests as of December 31, 2019 and 2018 represent the outside owners’ interests in the Company’s consolidated entities and the net equity of the VIE owners. All significant intercompany accounts have been eliminated upon consolidation.
Unless the context otherwise requires, the terms “we”, “us”, “our” and “the Company” used herein refer to TRI Pointe Group and its consolidated subsidiaries.
Certain amounts for prior years have been reclassified to conform to the current period presentation.
Use of Estimates
Our financial statements have been prepared in accordance with GAAP. The preparation of these financial statements requires our management to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosures of contingent liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting periods. Actual results could differ from our estimates.
We evaluated subsequent events up until our consolidated financial statements were filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Cash and Cash Equivalents and Concentration of Credit Risk
We define cash and cash equivalents as cash on hand, demand deposits with financial institutions, and short-term liquid investments with a maturity date of less than three months from the date of acquisition. The Company’s cash balances exceed federally insurable limits. The Company monitors the cash balances in its operating accounts and adjusts the cash balances as appropriate; however, these cash balances could be impacted if the underlying financial institutions fail or are subject to other adverse conditions in the financial markets. To date, the Company has experienced no loss or lack of access to cash in its operating accounts.
In May 2014, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Codified as “ASC 606”). ASC 606 supersedes the revenue-recognition requirements in ASC Topic 605, Revenue Recognition, most industry-specific guidance throughout the industry topics of the accounting standards codification, and eliminates certain cost guidance related to construction-type and production-type contracts in accordance with ASC 970. In addition, ASC 606
includes Subtopic 340-40, Other Assets and Deferred Costs - Contracts with Customers, which provided updated guidance related to certain costs incurred in obtaining and fulfilling contracts with customers. Collectively, we refer to ASC 606 and Subtopic 340-40 as ASC 606 throughout this filing. The core principle of ASC 606 is that an entity should recognize revenue to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. Under ASC 606, we apply the following steps to determine the timing and amount of revenue to recognize: (i) identify the contract(s) with a customer; (ii) identify the performance obligations in the contract; (iii) determine the transaction price; (iv) allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract; and (v) recognize revenue when (or as) the Company satisfies a performance obligation.
Following the adoption of ASC 606 on January 1, 2018, the timing of revenue recognition for all of our contracts remained materially consistent with our historical revenue recognition policy due to the nature of our revenue generating activities, with the most common difference under ASC 606 relating to the deferral of revenue due to these uncompleted performance obligations at the time we deliver new homes to our homebuyers.
Disaggregation of Revenues
We generate revenues from a mix of homebuilding operations and financial services operations. Due to the nature of our revenue generating activities, the disaggregated revenue reported on our consolidated statement of operations, in conjunction with the revenues reported in our segment disclosure, is deemed sufficient to report revenue from contracts with customers in accordance with the disaggregation disclosure requirements of ASC 606. We report total revenues in Note 2, Segment Information, which is fully comprised of our revenues from contracts with customers. While the total homebuilding revenues by segment include a mix of home sales revenue, land and lot sales revenue and other operations revenue, all material revenue amounts outside of home sales revenue are attributed to their respective homebuilding segments in the discussion below. Our consideration of disaggregated revenue consisted of a variety of facts and circumstances pertaining to our contracts with customers. These considerations included the nature, amounts, timing and other characteristics and economic factors present within each revenue line item appearing on our consolidated statement of operations. See below for further commentary regarding each of our revenue streams from contracts with customers.
Home sales revenue
We generate the majority of our total revenues from home sales, which consists of our core business operation of building and delivering completed homes to homebuyers. Home sales revenue and related profit is generally recognized when title to and possession of the home is transferred to the homebuyer at the home closing date. Our performance obligation to deliver the agreed-upon home is generally satisfied in less than one year from the original contract date. Included in home sales revenue are forfeited deposits, which occur when homebuyers cancel home purchase contracts that include a nonrefundable deposit. Both revenue from forfeited deposits and deferred revenue resulting from uncompleted performance obligations existing at the time we deliver new homes to our homebuyers are immaterial.
Land and lot sales revenue
Historically, we have generated land and lot sales revenue from a small number of transactions, although in some years we have realized a significant amount of revenue and gross margin. We do not expect our future land and lot sales revenue to be material, but we still consider these sales to be an ordinary part of our business, thus meeting the definition of contracts with customers. Similar to our home sales, revenue from land and lot sales is typically fully recognized when the land and lot sales transactions are consummated, at which time no further performance obligations are left to be satisfied. Some of our historical land and lot sales have included future profit participation rights. We will recognize future land and lot sales revenue in the periods in which all closing conditions are met, subject to the constraint on variable consideration related to profit participation rights, if such rights exist in the sales contract.
Other operations revenue
The majority of our homebuilding other operations revenue relates to a ground lease at our Quadrant Homes reporting segment. We are responsible for making lease payments to the land owner, and we collect sublease payments from the buyers of the buildings. This ground lease is accounted for in accordance with ASC Topic 842, Leases. We do not recognize a material profit on this ground lease.
Financial services revenues
TRI Pointe Solutions is a reportable segment and is comprised of our TRI Pointe Connect mortgage financing operations, TRI Pointe Assurance title and escrow services operations, and TRI Pointe Advantage property and casualty insurance agency operations.
Mortgage financing operations
TRI Pointe Connect was formed as a joint venture with an established mortgage lender and is accounted for under the equity method of accounting. We record a percentage of income earned by TRI Pointe Connect based on our ownership percentage in this joint venture. TRI Pointe Connect activity appears as equity in income of unconsolidated entities under the Financial Services section of our consolidated statements of operations.
Title and escrow services operations
TRI Pointe Assurance provides title examinations for our homebuyers in Austin and Colorado and both title examinations and escrow services for our homebuyers in Arizona, Dallas–Fort Worth, Houston, Maryland, Nevada, and Virginia. TRI Pointe Assurance is a wholly owned subsidiary of TRI Pointe and acts as a title agency for First American Title Insurance Company. Revenue from our title and escrow services operations is fully recognized at the time of the consummation of the home sales transaction, at which time no further performance obligations are left to be satisfied. TRI Pointe Assurance revenue is included in the Financial Services section of our consolidated statements of operations.
Property and casualty insurance agency operations
TRI Pointe Advantage is a wholly owned subsidiary of TRI Pointe and provides property and casualty insurance agency services that help facilitate the closing process in all of the markets in which we operate. The total consideration for these services, including renewal options, is estimated upon the issuance of the initial insurance policy, subject to constraint. TRI Pointe Advantage revenue is included in the Financial Services section of our consolidated statements of operations.
Real Estate Inventories and Cost of Sales
Real estate inventories consist of land, land under development, homes under construction, completed homes and model homes and are stated at cost, net of impairment losses. We capitalize direct carrying costs, including interest, property taxes and related development costs to inventories. Field construction supervision and related direct overhead are also included in the capitalized cost of inventories. Direct construction costs are specifically identified and allocated to homes while other common costs, such as land, land improvements and carrying costs, are allocated to homes within a community based upon their anticipated relative sales or fair value. In accordance with ASC Topic 835, Interest (“ASC 835”), homebuilding interest capitalized as a cost of inventories owned is included in costs of sales as related units or lots are sold. To the extent our debt exceeds our qualified assets as defined in ASC 835, we expense a portion of the interest incurred by us. Qualified assets represent projects that are actively under development. Homebuilding cost of sales is recognized at the same time revenue is recognized and is recorded based upon total estimated costs to be allocated to each home within a community. Any changes to the estimated costs are allocated to the remaining undelivered lots and homes within their respective community. The estimation and allocation of these costs require a substantial degree of judgment by management.
The estimation process involved in determining relative sales or fair values is inherently uncertain because it involves estimating future sales values of homes before delivery. Additionally, in determining the allocation of costs to a particular land parcel or individual home, we rely on project budgets that are based on a variety of assumptions, including assumptions about construction schedules and future costs to be incurred. It is common that actual results differ from budgeted amounts for various reasons, including construction delays, increases in costs that have not been committed or unforeseen issues encountered during construction that fall outside the scope of existing contracts, or costs that come in less than originally anticipated. While the actual results for a particular construction project are accurately reported over time, a variance between the budget and actual costs could result in the understatement or overstatement of costs and have a related impact on gross margins between reporting periods. To reduce the potential for such variances, we have procedures that have been applied on a consistent basis, including assessing and revising project budgets on a periodic basis, obtaining commitments from subcontractors and vendors for future costs to be incurred and utilizing the most recent information available to estimate costs.
If there are indications of impairment, we perform a detailed budget and cash flow review of our real estate assets to determine whether the estimated remaining undiscounted future cash flows of the community are more or less than the asset’s carrying value. If the undiscounted cash flows are more than the asset’s carrying value, no impairment adjustment is required. However, if the undiscounted cash flows are less than the asset’s carrying value, the asset is deemed impaired and is written down to fair value. These impairment evaluations require us to make estimates and assumptions regarding future conditions, including timing and amounts of development costs and sales prices of real estate assets, to determine if expected future undiscounted cash flows will be sufficient to recover the asset’s carrying value.
When estimating undiscounted cash flows of a community, we make various assumptions, including: (i) expected sales prices and sales incentives to be offered, including the number of homes available, pricing and incentives being offered by us or other builders in other communities, and future sales price adjustments based on market and economic trends; (ii) expected sales pace and cancellation rates based on local housing market conditions, competition and historical trends; (iii) costs expended to date and expected to be incurred including, but not limited to, land and land development costs, home construction
costs, interest costs, indirect construction and overhead costs, and selling costs; (iv) alternative product offerings that may be offered that could have an impact on sales pace, sales price and/or building costs; and (v) alternative uses for the property.
Many assumptions are interdependent and a change in one may require a corresponding change to other assumptions. For example, increasing or decreasing monthly sales absorption rates has a direct impact on the estimated per unit sales price of a home and the level of time sensitive costs (such as indirect construction, overhead and carrying costs). Depending on the underlying objective of the community, assumptions could have a significant impact on the projected cash flow analysis. For example, if our objective is to preserve operating margins, our cash flow analysis will be different than if the objective is to increase sales. These objectives may vary significantly from community to community and over time.
We perform a quarterly review for indicators of impairment. If assets are considered impaired, the impairment charge is determined by the amount the asset’s carrying value exceeds its fair value. Fair value is determined based on estimated future cash flows discounted for inherent risks associated with real estate assets. These discounted cash flows are impacted by expected risk based on estimated land development, construction and delivery timelines; market risk of price erosion; uncertainty of development or construction cost increases; and other risks specific to the asset or market conditions where the asset is located when assessment is made. These factors are specific to each community and may vary among communities. For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, we recorded real estate inventory impairment charges of $10.1 million, $0 and $854,000, respectively.
In the normal course of business, we incur warranty-related costs associated with homes that have been delivered to homebuyers. Estimated future direct warranty costs are accrued and charged to cost of sales in the period when the related home sales revenues are recognized while indirect warranty overhead salaries and related costs are charged to cost of sales in the period incurred. Factors that affect the warranty accruals include the number of homes delivered, historical and anticipated rates of warranty claims and cost per claim. Our primary assumption in estimating the amounts we accrue for warranty costs is that historical claims experience is a strong indicator of future claims experience. In addition, we maintain general liability insurance designed to protect us against a portion of our risk of loss from warranty and construction-related claims. We also generally require our subcontractors and design professionals to indemnify us for liabilities arising from their work, subject to various limitations. However, such indemnity is significantly limited with respect to certain subcontractors that are added to our general liability insurance policy.
Our warranty reserve is based on actuarial analysis that uses our historical claim and expense data, as well as industry data to estimate these overall costs. Key assumptions used in developing these estimates include claim frequencies, severities and resolution patterns, which can occur over an extended period of time. These estimates are subject to variability due to the length of time between the delivery of a home to a homebuyer and when a warranty or construction defect claim is made, and the ultimate resolution of such claim; uncertainties regarding such claims relative to our markets and the types of product we build; and legal or regulatory actions and/or interpretations, among other factors. Due to the degree of judgment involved and the potential for variability in these underlying assumptions, our actual future costs could differ from those estimated. There can be no assurance that the terms and limitations of the limited warranty will be effective against claims made by homebuyers, that we will be able to renew our insurance coverage or renew it at reasonable rates, that we will not be liable for damages, cost of repairs, and/or the expense of litigation surrounding possible construction defects, soil subsidence or building related claims or that claims will not arise out of uninsurable events or circumstances not covered by insurance and not subject to effective indemnification agreements with certain subcontractors.
We also record expected recoveries from insurance carriers based on actual insurance claims made and actuarially determined amounts that depend on various factors, including, the above-described reserve estimates, our insurance policy coverage limits for the applicable policy years and historical recovery rates. Because of the inherent uncertainty and variability in these assumptions, our actual insurance recoveries could differ significantly from amounts currently estimated.
Investments in Unconsolidated Entities
We have investments in unconsolidated entities over which we have significant influence that we account for using the equity method with taxes provided on undistributed earnings. We record earnings and accrue taxes in the period that the earnings are recorded by our affiliates. Under the equity method, our share of the unconsolidated entities’ earnings or loss is included in equity in (loss) income of unconsolidated entities in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations. We evaluate our investments in unconsolidated entities for impairment when events and circumstances indicate that the carrying value of the investment has been impaired beyond a temporary period of time. For the year ended December 31, 2017, we had a $13.2 million impairment charge related to a joint venture formed as a limited liability company in 1999 for the entitlement
and development of land located in Los Angeles County, California. For the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, we did not have any impairment charges related to investments in unconsolidated entities.
Variable Interest Entities
The Company accounts for variable interest entities in accordance with ASC Topic 810, Consolidation (“ASC 810”). Under ASC 810, a variable interest entity (“VIE”) is created when: (a) the equity investment at risk in the entity is not sufficient to permit the entity to finance its activities without additional subordinated financial support provided by other parties, including the equity holders; (b) the entity’s equity holders as a group (i) lack the direct or indirect ability to make decisions about the entity, (ii) are not obligated to absorb expected losses of the entity or (iii) do not have the right to receive expected residual returns of the entity; or (c) the entity’s equity holders have voting rights that are not proportionate to their economic interests, and the activities of the entity involve, or are conducted on behalf of, the equity holder with disproportionately few voting rights. If an entity is deemed to be a VIE pursuant to ASC 810, the enterprise that has both (a) the power to direct the activities of a VIE that most significantly impact the entity’s economic performance and (b) the obligation to absorb the expected losses of the entity or right to receive benefits from the entity that could be potentially significant to the VIE is considered the primary beneficiary and must consolidate the VIE.
Under ASC 810, a deposit paid to an entity is deemed to be a variable interest that will absorb some or all of the entity’s expected losses if they occur. Our land purchase and lot option deposits generally represent our maximum exposure to the land seller if we elect not to purchase the optioned property. In some instances, we may also expend funds for due diligence, development and construction activities with respect to optioned land prior to takedown. Such costs are classified as inventories owned, which we would have to write off should we not exercise the option. Therefore, whenever we enter into a land option or purchase contract with an entity and make a deposit, a VIE may have been created. In accordance with ASC 810, we perform ongoing reassessments of whether we are the primary beneficiary of a VIE.
We account for share-based awards in accordance with ASC Topic 718, Compensation-Stock Compensation (“ASC 718”). ASC 718 requires that the cost resulting from all share-based payment transactions be recognized in the financial statements. ASC 718 requires all entities to apply a fair-value-based measurement method in accounting for share-based payment transactions with employees. Share-based awards are expensed on a straight-line basis over the expected vesting period.
Sales and Marketing Expense
Following the adoption of ASC 606 on January 1, 2018, costs incurred for tangible assets directly used in the sales process that were previously capitalized to real estate inventories and amortized to cost of home sales, such as our sales offices, and model landscaping and furnishings, are capitalized to other assets and amortized to selling expense as the underlying homes are delivered. All other sales and marketing costs that were previously capitalized to real estate inventories and amortized to cost of home sales, such as advertising signage, brochures, and model and sales office conversion costs are expensed as incurred as selling expense.
We account for income taxes in accordance with ASC Topic 740, Income Taxes (“ASC 740”). Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recorded based on future tax consequences of both temporary differences between the amounts reported for financial reporting purposes and the amounts deductible for income tax purposes, and are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply in the years in which the temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized in earnings in the period when the changes are enacted.
Each quarter we assess our deferred tax assets to determine whether all or any portion of the assets is more likely than not unrealizable under ASC 740. We are required to establish a valuation allowance for any portion of the asset we conclude is more likely than not to be unrealizable. Our assessment considers, among other things, the nature, frequency and severity of our current and cumulative losses, forecasts of our future taxable income, the duration of statutory carryforward periods and tax planning alternatives. Due to uncertainties inherent in the estimation process, it is possible that actual results may vary from estimates.
The enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the fourth quarter of 2017, among other things, reduced the federal corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%, effective January 1, 2018. This resulted in a $22.0 million reduction in our deferred tax asset for the year ended December 31, 2017. For further details, see Note 15, Income Taxes.
We classify any interest and penalties related to income taxes as part of income tax expense.
We account for business combinations in accordance with ASC Topic 805, Business Combinations, if the assets acquired and liabilities assumed constitute a business. For acquired companies constituting a business, we recognize the identifiable assets acquired and liabilities assumed at their acquisition-date fair values and recognize any excess of total consideration paid over the fair value of the identifiable assets as goodwill. During the fourth quarter of 2018, we acquired a Dallas–Fort Worth-based homebuilder for an all cash purchase price of approximately $61.5 million. This transaction was accounted for as a business combination in accordance with ASC Topic 805, Business Combinations. For further details, see Note 5, Real Estate Inventories.
Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets
In accordance with ASC Topic 350, Intangibles-Goodwill and Other (“ASC 350”), we evaluate goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment on an annual basis, or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances between annual tests indicate that it is more likely than not that the asset is impaired. We have identified one reporting unit with goodwill, TRI Pointe Homes, and performed our annual goodwill impairment evaluation as of October 1, 2019. For further details on goodwill, see Note 8, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets.
For our TRI Pointe Homes reporting unit, we performed a qualitative assessment to determine whether it is more likely than not that its fair value is less than its carrying amount. Upon completion of the October 2019 annual impairment assessment, we determined that no goodwill impairment was indicated. As of December 31, 2019, we are not aware of any significant indicators of impairment that exist for our goodwill that would require additional analysis.
An impairment of our indefinite-lived intangible asset is based on a comparison of its fair value to book value, without consideration of any recoverability due to the indefinite nature of the asset. As of December 31, 2019, we believe that our indefinite-lived intangible asset continues to have an indefinite life and that its fair value exceeds its carrying value. For further details on our indefinite-lived intangible asset, see Note 8, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets.
In accordance with ASC Topic 360, Property, Plant and Equipment (“ASC 360”), we evaluate finite-lived intangible assets for impairment on an annual basis, or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances between annual tests indicate that it is more likely than not that the asset is impaired. An impairment in the carrying value of our finite-lived intangible asset is recognized whenever anticipated future undiscounted cash flows from the asset become unrecoverable and are estimated to be less than its carrying value. As of December 31, 2019, we believe that the carrying value of our finite-lived intangible asset is recoverable and that its fair value is greater than its carrying value. For further details on our finite-lived intangible asset, see Note 8, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets.
Significant management judgment is required in the forecasts of future operating results that are used in our impairment evaluations. Our estimates are consistent with the plans and estimates that we use to manage our business. It is possible, however, that the plans may change and estimates used may prove to be inaccurate. If our actual results, or the plans and estimates used in future impairment analyses, are lower than the original estimates used to assess the recoverability of these assets, we could incur future impairment charges.
Recently Issued Accounting Standards Not Yet Adopted
In January 2017, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2017-04, Intangibles–Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Simplifying the Accounting for Goodwill Impairment (“ASU 2017-04”), which removes the requirement to perform a hypothetical purchase price allocation to measure goodwill impairment. A goodwill impairment will now be the amount by which a reporting unit’s carrying value exceeds its fair value, not to exceed the carrying amount of goodwill. ASU 2017-04 is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2019, with early adoption permitted, and applied prospectively. We do not expect the adoption of ASU 2017-04 to have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
In June 2016, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments–Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments (“ASU 2016-13”), which replaces the incurred loss impairment methodology with a methodology that reflects expected credit losses and requires consideration of a broader range of reasonable and supportable information to inform credit loss estimates. ASU 2016-13 is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2019, with early adoption permitted. We have adopted ASU 2016-13 on January 1, 2020 and do not expect the adoption to have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
In December 2019, the FASB issued ASU 2019-12, Income Taxes (Topic 740): Simplifying the Accounting for Income Taxes (“ASU 2019-12”), which is intended to simplify various aspects related to accounting for income taxes. ASU 2019-12 removes certain exceptions to the general principles in Topic 740 and also clarifies and amends existing guidance to improve consistent application. ASU 2019-12 is effective for the Company beginning after December 15, 2020. We do not expect the adoption of ASU 2019-12 to have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
Adoption of New Accounting Standards
In February 2016, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-02, Leases (codified as “ASC 842”), which requires an entity to recognize a lease right-of-use asset and lease liability on the balance sheet for the rights and obligations created by leases with durations of greater than 12 months. Right-of-use lease assets represent our right to use the underlying asset for the lease term and the lease obligation represents our commitment to make the lease payments arising from the lease. The guidance also requires more disclosures about leases in the notes to financial statements. We adopted ASC 842 on January 1, 2019, using a modified retrospective approach resulting in the recognition of a cumulative effect adjustment to the opening balance sheet of $57.4 million, which included a lease right-of-use asset offset by a lease liability on our consolidated balance sheet. No prior period adjustment was recorded. Additionally, we have elected the transition package of three practical expedients permitted under ASC 842, which among other things, allows us to retain the current operating classification for all of our existing leases prior to January 1, 2019. For further details on the adoption of ASC 842, see Note 13, Commitments and Contingencies.