The independent survey, conducted between November 2016 and November 2017, clearly shows that improvements are needed in the sector, but it is perhaps not in quite the poor state that some believe.
Kate Hughes at New Homes Review said: “The NHR believe that good service in any industry should be rewarded and excellence in home building should be no different. Over time we hope that this survey will help potential new home buyers with their buying decisions, minimising the stress involved and making it a much more enjoyable process.”
With Government determined to encourage and enable the building of more homes, builders and developers play a huge role in designing houses that bring people’s dreams to reality. The NHR survey showed that 57% of people were satisfied with the service that was provided by their builder through the process, but key improvements could be made in reducing the number of snags and defects along with better communication.
There were mixed reviews when new build home owners were asked about the service that was provided after they moved in. 33% were completely satisfied but 50% were unsatisfied meaning that builders and developers need to work on the after sales service, which is often handled by the developer or builder’s head office rather than the on-site team.
Key findings of the NHR survey included:
- 6% had experienced snags or defects in their new home, in the main, these were resolved in a timely manner, in fact just 24% did not feel that they had been resolved quickly enough
- 59% of new build home owners said they were satisfied with the condition of the property
- 63% of new build home owners are satisfied with the overall quality of the build
- 57% said that they were satisfied with the standard of their new home
- 63% were satisfied their new home was value for money
Kate added: “Many new home buyers enter into the process with the expectation that things do not always go to plan but this does not mean the building industry have got it right and further improvements could be made in terms of less snags and also better communication. But overall those consumers buying a new build home are satisfied with the property that they have purchased. This includes both the service they received during the purchase and after they collected the keys.”
The NHR survey asked new build home owners about the importance of a 10 year warranty when buying a new home, 88% of those surveyed said that it was important. With just 8% of people saying that they were not aware of the cover of the new build warranty.
Kate concluded: “Having and knowing what a warranty covers is really important for new home buyers given the number of snags and defects identified. They need to know who to contact and make sure things are solved and put right in the most efficient way.”
Paula Higgins, chief executive, HomeOwners Alliance said: “It's no surprise that the vast majority of buyers have experienced defects in their new home. But the fact that 40% of new homes are not ready on time is an appalling statistic and would not be acceptable to consumers in other sectors. That it doesn’t send shockwaves through the sector makes it all the more serious.
“You might expect a few snagging issues but for almost all buyers to identify problems it’s clear action needs to be taken. As part of our campaign for better new builds we’re calling for new build homebuyers to be able to retain 2.5% of the cost of the house, which would only be paid after six months. Buyers should also be compensated if their home is not ready on time. This would create a powerful incentive for builders to build high quality homes right first time, rather than leaving the homeowner in the lurch.”
The NHR independent rating for the new build industry for 2017 is Gold. This means that the average customer satisfaction score for the survey was between 61% and 70%.
More details on the rating system can be found on the website www.newhomesreview.com
Download the NHR 2017 Annual Report.