J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Mattamy Homes Ranks Highest in Satisfying New-Home Buyers in the Greater Toronto Area For a Third Consecutive Year



    TORONTO, Sept. 3 /CNW/ - Mattamy Homes ranks highest in satisfying
new-home buyers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for a third consecutive
year, 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 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
fourth year that the study has been conducted in the Greater Toronto Area.
    Despite the challenges new-home builders in the United States are
experiencing with the downturn in the housing market, as well as a slowing
Canadian market, GTA builders are continuing to improve the home-buying
experience for their customers. Overall satisfaction in the GTA market has
increased to 710 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2008, from 686 in 2007. More than
two-thirds of GTA builders ranked in the study demonstrate improvement in
2008, compared with 2007.
    "GTA builders should feel proud of their achievements in satisfying
new-home buyers over the past four years," said Marc Thibault, real estate
practice leader at the Canadian office of J.D. Power and Associates. "Overall
satisfaction has increased from 612 in the inaugural study in 2005 to 710 in
2008. This translates to a 16 percent increase during this four-year period,
which is quite remarkable. A majority of builders -- not simply a select few
-- have contributed to this overall improvement, which bodes well for
prospective buyers."
    Mattamy Homes achieves a score of 893 to rank highest in new-home buyer
satisfaction in the GTA market for a third consecutive year, performing
particularly well in all eight factors that contribute to overall
satisfaction. Mattamy Homes also ranks highest in new-home buyer satisfaction
in the Ottawa-Carleton region in 2008. Tribute Communities (837) and
Brookfield Homes (791) follow Mattamy in the GTA market rankings.
    The study finds that recommendations of 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 more than three 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 a key source of information," 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 GTA market-up from 8 percent in 2007 to 12 percent in
2008. Builder quality efforts have resulted in a reduction in the total number
of construction problems noted by buyers-down to 21 per home in 2008 from 23
per home in 2007.
    "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 GTA builders made gains in their efforts to
improve communication with home buyers throughout the new-home purchase
experience. In 2005, slightly more than one-third of buyers (37%) indicated
that they received updates about the construction status of their new home. In
2008, nearly three in five buyers (58%) 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 GTA builders can continue to improve in this area, it is clear
that they are taking meaningful steps to respond to this important customer
expectation."
    The 2008 Canadian New-Home Builder Customer Satisfaction Study is based
on responses from 4,518 buyers within the Greater Toronto Area 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 Ottawa-Carleton region. For more
comprehensive information on GTA and Ottawa-Carleton 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. The company's quality and satisfaction
measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. 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 Chart Available on 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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