Customer satisfaction with new-home builders has improved for a third consecutive year, and new-home quality has improved for a second consecutive year, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. New-Home Builder Customer Satisfaction Study.
Overall Satisfaction Rises
The New-Home Builder Customer Satisfaction Study, now in its 14th year, includes satisfaction rankings for builders in 17 markets. Nine factors drive overall customer satisfaction with new-home builders: workmanship/materials; builder’s warranty/customer service staff; price/value; builder’s sales staff; construction manager; home readiness; recreational facilities provided by the builder; builder’s design center; and location.
Study results indicate overall customer satisfaction has improved for a third consecutive year, averaging 826 on a 1,000-point scale in 2010. This marks the highest level since the inception of the study in 1997. Markets with the highest levels of overall satisfaction in 2010 include Phoenix.; Las Vegas; Southern California; Orlando.; and Sacramento. Overall satisfaction has increased in 15 of the 17 individual markets that were also surveyed in 2009.
The study finds that satisfaction has improved from 2009 in eight of the nine factors (all except recreational facilities provided by the builder), and most notably in workmanship/materials; home readiness; and builder’s design center. Approximately 92% of home buyers in 2010 indicate that their home was complete when they took possession, compared with 90% in 2009.
In addition, the importance of factors driving overall satisfaction has shifted from 2009. The importance of the builder’s sales staff and the builder’s construction manager has increased, while the importance of price/value and builder’s warranty/customer service has declined.
Shea Homes, Standard Pacific Rank Highest in Most Markets
Shea Homes (headquartered in Walnut, CA) and Standard Pacific Homes (Irvine, CA) each rank highest in customer satisfaction in three markets. KB Home (Los Angeles, CA) ranks highest in two markets. Other builders with the highest rankings in their respective markets include (in alphabetical order): Classic Homes (Colorado Springs, CO); Darling Homes (Frisco, TX); David Weekley Homes (Houston, TX); JMC (John Mourier) (Roseville, CA.); John Wieland Homes (Smyrna, GA); M/I Homes (Columbus, OH); NV Homes (Reston, VA.); Pardee Homes (Los Angeles, CA); and Trendmaker (Houston, TX).
Centex Homes, KB Homes, M/I Homes Take 2 Markets Each
The New-Home Quality Study, now in its fourth year, measures the occurrence and impact of construction problems experienced by new-home owners in 17 markets. The study utilizes an index that takes into account the number of problems that occur, the severity of problems and size of the home, and measures problems in 41 categories for the following areas: bathroom; drywall; electrical/appliances; flooring/stairs; home exterior; interior paint; kitchen; windows/doors; and other significant problems.
Centex Homes (headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, MI); KB Home; and M/I Homes each rank highest in new-home quality in two markets. Other builders achieving the highest rankings in new-home quality in their respective markets include (in alphabetical order): Brookfield Homes (Fairfax, VA); Classic Homes; D.R. Horton (Ft. Worth, TX); Fieldstone Communities (Irvine, CA); Highland Homes (Plano, TX); JMC (John Mourier); LGI Homes (Conroe, TX); Pardee Homes; Ryland Homes (Calabasas, CA); Standard Pacific Homes; and Toll Brothers (Horsham, PA).
Home Buyers Happier than Sellers
Reflective of the real estate buyers’ market conditions in many regions in the US, satisfaction with real estate companies among home buyers has improved from 2009, while satisfaction among home sellers has declined, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Home Buyer/Seller Study.
Overall satisfaction among home buyers averages 803 on a 1,000-point scale in 2010, increasing by 12 points from 2009. This improvement is primarily driven by increased satisfaction with agents and salespersons. In contrast to home buyer results, overall satisfaction among home sellers has declined by 40 points from 2009 and averages 742 in 2010.
About the Data: The 2010 U.S. New-Home Builder Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 16,400 buyers of newly built single-family homes who provided feedback after living in their home an average of four to 18 months. The study was fielded between March and July 2010. J.D. Power and Associates is publisher of the enclosed charts, which are taken from the study.