J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Toronto New-Home Builders Continue to Make Considerable Gains in Customer Satisfaction



    Mattamy Homes Ranks Highest in Satisfying New-Home Buyers in the Greater
    Toronto Area for a Second Consecutive Year

    TORONTO, Sept. 5 /CNW/ - Home builders in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
continue to improve steadily in satisfying new-home buyers compared with 2006,
according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Canadian New-Home Builder
Customer Satisfaction Study(SM) released today.
    The study, now in its third year, measures customer satisfaction of home
buyers throughout the new-home purchase and early ownership experience. Buyers
are asked to evaluate their builders in the following areas: sales staff,
design centre, home readiness, customer service, price/value, physical design,
home quality and location.
    The GTA market average satisfaction score has increased to 686 (on a
1,000-point scale) in 2007 from 664 in 2006 and 612 in 2005. While GTA
builders have made improvements across all eight factors that contribute to
overall satisfaction, the most significant gains are in home readiness and
customer service - the two factors new home buyers consider most important.
    "When combined with the significant satisfaction improvements achieved
last year, GTA builders have now collectively gained 74 index points in the
past two years - which translates into a 12 per cent increase. By any measure,
this level of improvement is impressive - and consumers are the beneficiaries
of these gains," said Darren Slind, senior director of real estate and
performance improvement practices at the Canadian office of J.D. Power and
Associates. "It is obvious that many builders are listening carefully to the
voices of their home buyers and responding with an improved new-home purchase
and ownership experience that more closely matches customer expectations."
    However, the study finds that there is still a large and growing gap
between the performances of the highest- and lowest-ranked builders that spans
511 index points. This is a considerable increase from the 326-point gap
experienced in 2006.
    "It appears that the leading builders may be starting to pull away from
the pack," said Slind.
    Mattamy Homes ranks highest in new-home buyer satisfaction in the GTA
market for a second consecutive year with an index score of 883 and performs
particularly well in all eight factors that contribute to overall
satisfaction. Tribute Communities (793), Ballantry Homes (787) and Daniels
Corporation (787) follow Mattamy in the rankings.
    The study finds that satisfaction is critical to home owner loyalty and
advocacy levels. Home buyers who say they are highly satisfied (providing
ratings of 9 and 10 on a 10-point satisfaction scale) provide more than four
times the number of builder recommendations to their friends, relatives and
colleagues than home buyers who are "indifferent" about their home buying
experience (providing ratings of 5 and 6).
    The study also finds that GTA builders are making considerable progress
in their ability to deliver homes with higher initial quality, as measured by
the lower number of construction deficiencies reported by home owners. Since
2005, GTA builders have reduced the number of construction problems by 40 per
cent - from an average of 38.5 to 22.9 per home.
    "While there is still much work to be done, the quality improvements
achieved since 2005 represent a tremendous accomplishment for the industry,"
said Slind. "Builders who take responsibility for quality long before the
pre-delivery inspection are leading the industry's efforts to build homes
right the first time."
    When problems do arise, new home owners are most satisfied with builders
who respond in a timely manner and who provide efficient service by
coordinating completion of multiple repairs on the same visit.
    "Builders with the most highly satisfied customers work closely with
their trade partners to schedule service response to minimize inconvenience
and aggravation for the home owner," said Slind. "These builders also
carefully analyze their home quality and repair records to uncover the root
causes of construction problems. They understand the goal is not to achieve
proficiency in fixing problems, but to prevent them in the first place."
    The 2007 Canadian New-Home Builder Customer Satisfaction Study is based
on the responses of 5,158 buyers within the Greater Toronto Area who purchased
newly built single-family detached, semi-detached and townhomes. All buyers
surveyed closed their home purchase in 2006. The study was fielded from March
to May 2007. 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
an ISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm 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 2006 were $6.3 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: Chart available upon request
    






For further information:

For further information: Media Relations Contacts: Alexandra Cygal, Cohn
& Wolfe, Toronto, Canada, (647) 259-3266, Alexandra.cygal@cohnwolfe.ca;
Syvetril Perryman, J.D. Power and Associates ,Westlake Village, Calif., (805)
418-8103, syvetril.perryman@jdpa.com

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