J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Mattamy Homes Ranks Highest in Satisfying New-Home Buyers in Ottawa-Carleton



    TORONTO, Sept. 3 /CNW/ - Mattamy Homes ranks highest in satisfying
new-home buyers in the Ottawa-Carleton region, according to the J.D. Power and
Associates 2008 Canadian New-Home Builder Customer Satisfaction Study(SM)
released today.
    The study measures customer satisfaction of home buyers throughout the
new-home purchase and early ownership experience in four markets: Calgary,
Edmonton, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the Ottawa-Carleton region.
Buyers are asked to evaluate their builder in eight factors (in order of
importance): home readiness; construction/site team; warranty service; sales
staff; price/value; physical design; home quality; and design centre. This
marks the third year that the study has been conducted in the Ottawa-Carleton
region.
    Overall satisfaction in the Ottawa-Carleton region has decreased slightly
in 2008 to 681 (on a 1,000-point scale), from 684 in 2007. While
Ottawa-Carleton builders have improved in 2008 in a majority of the factors
that contribute to overall satisfaction compared with 2007, satisfaction in
two of the most important factors - home readiness and warranty service - has
declined.
    "Home-buyer satisfaction with Ottawa-Carleton builders in 2008 has
remained flat compared with 2007 following a 3.5 percent improvement in
overall satisfaction from 2006 to 2007," said Marc Thibault, real estate
practice leader at the Canadian office of J.D. Power and Associates. "In this
softening market, it is particularly critical for builders to differentiate
themselves from their competitors by providing outstanding levels of customer
satisfaction in order to gain the trust of prospective buyers."
    Mattamy Homes ranks highest in new-home buyer satisfaction in the
Ottawa-Carleton region with a score of 807. Mattamy performs particularly well
in seven of the eight factors that contribute to overall satisfaction: home
readiness; construction/site team; warranty service; price/value; physical
design; home quality; and design centre. Mattamy Homes also ranks highest in
new-home buyer satisfaction in the Greater Toronto Area for a third
consecutive year. Minto follows Mattamy in the rankings, posting considerable
improvement during the past two years and increasing in satisfaction by
86 points, from 652 in 2006 to 738 in 2008.
    The study finds that recommendations from friends, relatives or
colleagues are key sources of builder information for prospective new-home
buyers. Home-buyer satisfaction is essential to driving these referrals, as
buyers who report being "delighted" with their experience (providing ratings
of 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale) make nearly two-and-one-half times the number
of builder recommendations to their friends, relatives and colleagues than
buyers who say they are "indifferent" about their home buying experience
(providing ratings of 5 or 6).
    "When prospective buyers are in the market for a new home, they look to a
trusted resource to assist with their decision making process, indicating that
builder referrals are of critical importance," said Thibault. "Those builders
with a track record of high customer satisfaction performance will have a
distinct competitive advantage in a softening housing market. Buyers tend to
purchase from builders that present the least amount of perceived risk.
Testimonials from friends, relatives or colleagues can provide prospective
home buyers with confidence in their builders as they make one of the most
significant financial decisions of their lives."
    The study also finds that the proportion of homes delivered "defect-free"
has increased in the Ottawa-Carleton region - up from 3 percent in 2007 to 6
percent in 2008. However, there has also been a significant increase in the
proportion of homeowners who report experiencing 40 or more construction
problems with their home at delivery. As a result, the total number of
construction problems noted by buyers has increased in 2008 to 26 per home
from 23 per home in 2007.
    "Some Ottawa-Carleton builders are recognizing the importance of
providing defect-free products and are putting more emphasis on quality
assurance mechanisms prior to home delivery," said Thibault. "This approach is
a particularly efficient way to run their businesses. Not only are home buyers
satisfied at the point of delivery, but eliminating defects also puts much
less demand on builder warranty service teams."
    The study also finds that Ottawa-Carleton builders have made gains in
their efforts to improve communication with home buyers throughout the
new-home purchase experience. In 2007, more than one-third of buyers (37%)
indicated that they received updates about the construction status of their
new home. In 2008, more than two in five buyers (43%) are provided with some
form of proactive communication from their builder.
    "There is a consistent, positive relationship between builder
communication effectiveness and homeowner satisfaction," said Thibault, "While
it is true that Ottawa-Carleton builders can continue to improve in this area,
it is clear that they are taking positive steps forward to respond to this
important customer expectation."
    The 2008 Canadian New-Home Builder Customer Satisfaction Study is based
on responses from 955 buyers within the Ottawa-Carleton region who purchased
newly built single-family detached and semi-detached homes and townhomes. All
buyers surveyed closed their home purchase in 2007. The study was fielded from
March to May 2008. J.D. Power and Associates also measures customer
satisfaction with new-home builders in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). For
more comprehensive information on Ottawa-Carleton and GTA builders, visit the
J.D. Power Consumer Center at www.jdpower.com/canada.

    About J.D. Power and Associates

    Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a
global marketing information services company operating in key business
sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement,
training and customer satisfaction. J.D. Power and Associates is a business
unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

    About The McGraw-Hill Companies

    Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:   MHP) is a leading
global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial
services, education and business information markets through leading brands
such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and
J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40
countries. Sales in 2007 were $6.8 billion. Additional information is
available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.

    No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the
information in this release without the express prior written consent of
J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

    NOTE: Ranking Charts Available Upon Request





For further information:

For further information: Media Relations Contacts: Camille DePutter,
Cohn & Wolfe, Toronto, Canada, (647) 259-3276, camille.deputter@cohnwolfe.ca;
Syvetril Perryman, J.D. Power and Associates, Westlake Village, Calif., (805)
418-8103, syvetril.perryman@jdpa.com

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