Donation

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

(2018)


Percentage of total* homes built by  house builder

HBF Star Rating Scheme

Q1. Question

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

BARRATT DEV

8,487

48% (50%)








TAYLOR WIMPEY

6,017

40% (43%)








PERSIMMON

8,234

50% (51%)








BELLWAY

4,610

45% (45%)








REDROW

2,923

49% (52%)








McCarthy & Stone

1,330

62% (59%)








MILLER

1540

48% (58%)



/

/

/



BOVIS

1,430

38% (46%)








LINDEN

1,514

44% (44%)








CREST

1132

38% (35%)








AVANT

919

48% (51%)






/

/

MORRIS

461

42% (43%)








CALA

1006

46% (50%)








KEEPMOAT

1388

36% (32%)





/

/

/

STEWART MILNE

359

43% (55%)








LOVELL

348

36.50%








CROUDACE

180

38% (58%)


/

/

/

/

/

/

JONES

210

33% (39%)


/

/

/

/

/

/

BLOOR

1688

52% (43%)


/

/

/

/

/

/

CHURCHILL RET.

348

70%


/

/

/

/

/

/

STRATA

319

57% (40%)


/

/

/

/

/

/

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?



Return to Top

** Based on last (2017/18) available figures

    (Percentage surveys returned 2017 survey)

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*