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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 91% 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:- Bloor (est. 1500 homes), Fairview (685 homes), Countryside (550 homes) and Berkeley Homes who are not even HBF members (2600 homes per year).


5 Star Rated house builder board

HBF Survey 5 Star rated housebuilder

House Builder


Sample

Size

(2016)


Percentage of total* homes built by  house builder

HBF Star Rating Scheme

Q1. Question

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

BARRATT DEV

8,152

47%








TAYLOR WIMPEY

5,075

38%








PERSIMMON

7,200

47%








BELLWAY

3,491

40%








REDROW

2,239

47%








McCarthy & Stone

1,433

59%








MILLER

994

42%



/

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/



BOVIS

1,381

35%








LINDEN

1,239

40%








CREST

975

34%








AVANT

492

29%






/

/

MORRIS

455

79%








CALA

622

54%








KEEPMOAT

727

30%





/

/

/

STEWART MILNE

339

42%








LOVELL

380

/








CROUDACE

138

49%


/

/

/

/

/

/

JONES

188

39%


/

/

/

/

/

/

BLOOR

920

38%


/

/

/

/

/

/

CHURCHILL RET.

348

/


/

/

/

/

/

/

STRATA

283

40%


/

/

/

/

/

/

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 4th 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.


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.  Yet 19% would not buy from the same builder again.  Around 93% reported problems to the builder in first 8 weeks.


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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** Based on last (2015/16) available figures

** Based on estimated total number of homes built.

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