The results from the fourth national new house owner’s satisfaction survey are out and they contain some important messages for the residential building industry in New Zealand.
88% of respondents are satisfied with the overall quality of their new home. Those who had built previously are the most satisfied and scored their builder higher on all measures than those who had never built before. Owners that chose a one-off design with major/total owner input were happiest with their builder.
Chelydra Percy, BRANZ CEO, stated “The survey demonstrates that the industry is performing well in delivering a home new owners are happy with. But there is room for improvement and BRANZ will continue working with industry to identify how to improve quality delivery”
Overall workloads in New Zealand (excluding Auckland and Christchurch) have increased by about 15%. A positive change in the results compared to last year, is that defect call-back rates in Auckland have decreased despite a 40% increase in industry workload.
Grant Florence, Certified Builders of New Zealand CEO, “CBANZ members are experiencing a significant lift in workload especially in Auckland. We see training and retaining of quality builders as vital to meeting the market growth and reducing call-backs”
However the survey also highlights that satisfaction scores overall are trending downwards, partly due to increasing workloads, with average scores down about 3.5% from last year.
Christchurch demonstrates the lowest levels of satisfaction driven primarily by the rate of building and the ability of companies to secure quality tradespeople. The Canterbury region scored lowest across every measure compared to the rest of New Zealand. Measures related to post-occupancy performance of builders here were particularly poor. Christchurch represents 20% of housing construction underway in New Zealand and workload pressures are clearly challenging the delivery of good building performance.
The survey signals that better follow up by builders is needed for homeowners after handover, and to improve communication over call backs and repair of defects.
The annual survey, undertaken by BRANZ since 2011, measures how well new house owners rate their builder based on the experience of having a home built in the past 12 months. The survey covers 31 territorial authorities from Invercargill to the Far North.
Funded by the Building Research Levy the survey informs designers, builders and workers in the residential construction industry, as well as people planning to build a new home In New Zealand.