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Bricks & Sticks

by Desi Auciello

Desi Auciello is the 2006 GTHBA President, and is also president of Cachet Estate Homes.

More buyers more satisfied, J.D. Power says

Date: September 15, 2006

More and more buyers are more and more satisfied with their new homes in the Greater Toronto Area.

According to the latest customer satisfaction survey by J.D. Power and Associates, new home builders throughout the GTA have made "considerable progress" in meeting the expectations of consumers.

This is solid confirmation that builders of new homes and the highly skilled tradespeople they employ are meeting the needs and expectations of buyers.

Builders have improved their rankings in all factors that measure buyer satisfaction but the most substantive gains are in home quality, home readiness and customer service - the really big issues when it comes to buying a new house.

Darren Slind, senior J.D. Power manager of the new home satisfaction study, labelled the 2006 ranking of the overall market - up more than 50 points to 664 on a 1,000-point scale - a "significant industry improvement."

The new home builder customer satisfaction study was launched in Canada for the first time in 2005. The survey measures how well buyers are contented with the purchase process and early ownership experience. The study asks buyers to evaluate every factor from sales staff to design centre, home readiness, customer service, physical design, home quality, location, and price and value. 

Mattamy Homes ranks the highest in GTA buyer satisfaction in all eight categories. Others that were rated higher than the GTA market average include Tribute Communities, Great Gulf Homes, Ballantry Homes, Cachet Estate Homes, Arista Homes, Baywood Homes and Brookfield Homes.

California-based J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information service that provides key business sectors with data based on responses from millions of consumers annually.

The complete survey results can be found at www.jdpower.com/homes.

Tarion Awards

Next up in the Fall barrage of builder awards will be the Tarion awards of excellence, September 20 at the Liberty Grand, Exhibition Place.

Sitting with their fingers and toes crossed in anticipation of that announcement are high-rise finalists The Daniels Corporation, Great Gulf Homes, Shane Baghai and Tridel and large volume builder finalists Arista Homes, Ballantry Homes, Paradise Homes and Tribute Communities.

Reno intent up

According to the latest results from the FIRM survey, conducted by Clayton Research Associates and Ipsos-Reid, homeowner renovation intentions are up from last year. The number of homeowners planning renovations of $5,000 or more increased from 13 per cent in 2004 and 2005, to 16 per cent this year (June survey).

The strength in renovation intentions is not surprising given the robust resale housing market across Canada. As noted last week, renovation is a $46.5 billion industry nationwide, $16 billion provincially and approximately $5 billion right here in the GTA.

Fall Home Show

If you're one of so many homeowners that are contemplating a renovation, the best place to start would be a visit to the Toronto Fall Home Show, September 28 - October 1, at the Automotive Building, Exhibition Place.

The show has a distinctly renovation focus as more than 56 per cent of Fall Home show visitors attend the show for renovation advice. Renovation features include main stage presentations by GTHBAs Renovator of the Year, Michael Upshall of ProBuilt, as well as Destination Renovation, GTHBAs feature presentation at the show. There are also dozens of professional renovation contractors exhibiting at the show.

The elements of Destination Renovation include "renovation conversation," which is your chance to talk one on one with any of our professional renovation contractors on hand throughout the show. There's no obligation - you can pick their brains with respect to renovation trends and solutions, get ballpark estimates, etc. You can pre-book your consultation on line at www.renomark.ca or by calling 416-391-HOME (4663).

The "renovation inspiration" component of Destination Renovation is our photo gallery of 30 professional renovations of all types and budgets, plus custom homes. Warning: these photos are beautiful and may cause you to throw out all your plans and start from scratch.

The final component is renovation information. We have a wealth of free literature including our RenoGuide (Read before you renovate):  Five steps to a worry free renovation or addition and our free listing of more than 175 professional renovation contractors.

We look forward to seeing you at the Fall Home Show. For complete details, visit www.fallhomeshow.com.