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House builder  Star Rating Scheme

HBF House builder Star Rating Scheme

The results of the 8-week survey form the basis for the HBF annual customer satisfaction Star Rating Scheme. The NHBC have confirmed the Star Rating is ''a scheme run by the HBF for its members''. Only HBF members can be given a star rating and participation is optional. It could be argued that any builder given a poor rating could (and would) opt not to be included.  However, this could be misleading as several house builders choose not to take part, or like Berkeley Homes, are excluded as they are not HBF members.


The star ratings used to be based on customer combined responses to just TWO of the survey questions:


Q1 Would you recommend your builder to a friend?

The star rating applied to those that answered 'Yes'


Q2 Taking everything into account, overall how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the quality of your new home?

The star rating was applied to those that answered 'satisfied' and 'very satisfied' added together!


From 2013, a housebuilder's star rating is based on just the one question:

Q1. Would you recommend your builder to a friend?  Yes  or No


The star rating relates to the total percentage that answered 'Yes'


5-Star rated builders scored 90% or higher.

4-Star rated builders scored 80%-89.9%

3-Star rated builders scored 70%-79.9%

2-Star rated builders scored 60%-69.9%












Why some major house builders are not listed or given 'Star Ratings'

Only HBF members can be given a star rating and participation is optional. Those not given a star rating include Berkeley Homes who are not even HBF members (building around 3,770 homes per year).


5 Star Rated house builder board

HBF Survey 5 Star rated housebuilder

House Builder


Sample

Size

(2020)


Percentage of total* homes built by  house builder

HBF Star Rating Scheme

Q1. Question

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

BARRATT DEV

6,637

52% (52%)








TAYLOR WIMPEY

4,848

43% (43%)








PERSIMMON

7,151

52% (52%)








BELLWAY

3,954

52% (49%)








REDROW

2,061

51% (44%)








McCarthy & Stone

541

55% (55%)








MILLER

1396

53% (59%)



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VISTRY (BOVIS)

2,039

23% (42%)








VISTRY (LINDEN)

2,039

23% (43%)








CREST

769

34% (38%)








AVANT

841

43% (55%)






/

/

MORRIS

361

41% (43%)








CALA

822

45% (50%)








KEEPMOAT

1082

44% (40%)





/

/

/

STEWART MILNE

297

45% (45%)








LOVELL

476

58% (58%)








CROUDACE

140

35% (35%)


/

/

/

/

/

/

JONES

162

40% (40%)


/

/

/

/

/

/

BLOOR

1659

47% (48%)


/

/

/

/

/

/

CHURCHILL RET.

158

67% (67%)


/

/

/

/

/

/

STRATA

151

42% (42%)


/

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/

/

/

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** Based on last (2019/20) available figures

    (Percentage surveys returned 2020 survey)

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The HBF star rating results for the survey year ended 30 September 2020 (published March 2021) are now so ridiculous they are of questionable value to anyone looking to buy a new home.  Out of a total of 48 house builders given a star rating, 42 were handed 5 star ratings. The remaining six being rated 4 stars.

Furthermore, 15 of the housebuilders were rated 5 stars with less than 100 surveys sampled; 9 of these were handed 5 star status by the HBF with fewer than 50 survey responses!


Yet again this year, virtually every new homebuyer reported defects to their builder within a few weeks of moving in. This year again a staggering 92% did, with 41% of these reporting more than 10 defects!!


The results for the year to 30 September 2019 (published 31 March 2020), based on 63,418 surveys returned (63%) show a slight "improvement" on the overall industry-quoted "Satisfaction" ay 89% as judged by the Home Builders Federation based on just the "recommend a friend" Question 1 of the survey.  It should be noted that an amazing and unprecedented 36 out of the 49 housebuilders that chose to be listed as star rating are allegedly 5 star rated! Ten of these being housebuilding 'minnows', given 5 star status despite having 50 or fewer surveys completed!

Again this year, virtually every new homebuyer reported defects to their builder within a few weeks of moving in. This year a staggering 97% did, with 40% of these reporting more than 10 defects!


The results for the 2018 year again show a very slight improvement. "Satisfaction" as judged by the Home Builders Federation is based on just the "recommend a friend" Question 1 of the survey. Yet again the survey shows virtually all new homebuyers report defects to their housebuilder within weeks of moving in, with over 42% reporting more than ten defects at the time this 8-week survey is completed.


The number of buyers answering the star rating question averagied 44% of the total homes built by the larger housebuilders in the survey year. Bovis have jumped from an all time low of 2 stars to a 4 star rating in just one year, with only 38% of their buyers responding. The improvement is probably as a result of focusing on customers complaints during the early weeks after moving in. Taylor Wimpey annual accounts for 2018 stated a satisfaction percentage for their 8-week, 5 star rating of 90%. For the first time it also revealed the 9-month satisfaction percentage was 76% - equivalent to a 3 star rating.

The results for the 2017 survey year show little improvement on last year. "Satisfaction" as judged by the Home Builders Federation "remains high" An improvement in the star rating score appears to be linked to the "sample size" used. For example Avant have gone from 2 star to a 4 star rating in two years, with an 193% increase in sample size over the period.  Bovis homes, despite assuring shareholders they are trending as a 4-star rated housebuilder in the current (2018) survey year, are Britain's only two star rated housebuilder for a second year in a row. Persimmon again rated just 3 stars for the fourth year in a  row, are in our opinion, another housebuilder buyers should be avoiding!

Staggeringly, 99% of new homebuyers that completed the 2017 survey reported "problems" to their housebuilder within a few weeks of moving in. Again 41% reported more than ten defects with their homes.

The results for the 2016 survey year are the worst year for both quality of new homes and buyers' satisfaction since 2009. Again, despite the obvious poor quality and customer service, the 2017 HBF survey results reported that 84% would recommend their builder to a friend - down for the fourth year running.  A fifth of buyers would not buy from the same builder again.  Around 98% reported problems to the builder in first 8 weeks, with 41% reporting more than 10 problems.


Bovis became the first plc housebuilder since the survey started in 2006, to be rated just two stars. Even this is surprising as it would indicate that 6 out of 10 buyers would still recommend Bovis to a friend, despite the company setting aside £7million to fix defective homes it built since 2015.


Despite the obvious poor quality of new homes and customer service, the 2016 HBF survey results reported that 85% would recommend their builder to a friend and around  1 in 5 would not buy from the same builder again.  


In the 2015 results, 39,074 surveys were returned yet only 29,100 were "sampled" or used for the star rating question.   Why were 8,974 (29%) of the surveys received not used?
Again in 2016, 11,499 surveys around a quarter of those returned, were "sampled" out from the Star Rating question.  What is the house building industry trying to hide?  Can this industry survey be trusted?


The Customer Satisfaction Survey reports give cause for concern over the methodology for obtaining and processing the figures used to generate the statistics for Star Rating. There is certainly a potential for bias and an obvious disconnect between the question asked and what the answers are then construed as evidencing - recommending your builder to a friend could indicate any number of things, with build quality being only one possible reason.


On social media, there are a growing number of people stating that house builders' site-based staff are encouraging and "incentivising" their buyers to give favourable responses, in particular to Question 1 - the Star rating question and Question 2, the same question but "how likely" with marking on a scale of 0 to 10. One buyer confirmed a well-known major house builder, has even given her £250 worth of John Lewis vouchers in return for a 'Yes' to Q1! If as it would appear, house builders are cheating (knowingly breaking the HBF scheme rules in the process!) to get a better star rating, buyers cannot trust or rely on the integrity of the HBF star rating scheme.


In addition, with small house builders building 150 homes a year are attaining 5 star status with just a handful of their buyers completing the survey. House builders with unfavourable scores can (and do) choose to opt-out. We believe every new home must be included in the survey and all house builders should be forced to take part in a truly independent survey. The current survey, the form of questions and the way the responses are used by the industry leave a lot to be desired!


For more information on new home surveys:-The NHBC is independant and sends out the surveys


Our independent new home customer satisfaction survey


HBF New home customer satisfaction survey results


Can House Builder Surveys be trusted?



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