Brands of Pulte Homes Inc. ranked highest in customer satisfaction in a New-Home Builder Customer Satisfaction Study released today by J.D. Power and Associates.

Overall customer satisfaction for all builders was 779 on a 1,000-point scale in 2008, J.D. Power reported, which is up from 741 in the 2007 survey, with overall satisfaction increasing in 28 of 29 markets that were surveyed in both 2007 and 2008. The 2008 survey includes 33 U.S. market areas.

Builders are ranked on nine factors in the annual study: builder’s sales staff; builder’s warranty and customer service staff; workmanship and materials; price and value; home readiness; construction manager; recreational facilities provided by the builder; builder’s design center; and location.

Pulte brands, including Pulte Homes, Del Webb and DiVosta Homes, ranked highest in customer satisfaction among new-home builders in 11 markets, J.D. Power reported.

Cambridge Homes, a part of builder D.R. Horton; Centex Homes; Darling Homes; David Weekley Homes; Eastwood Homes; Granville Homes, John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods; Lakewood Homes; M/I Homes; Medallion Homes; Minto Communities; Shea Homes; Standard Pacific Homes; Time Lewis Communities; and Trendmaker Homes, a part of Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Co., were also among the builders that received top rankings in individual market areas.

A separate New-Home Design Study found that overall customer satisfaction with new-home design scored 782 out of possible 1,000 points in 2008, up 36 points from 2007.

Pulte brands received the highest ranking in new-home design in six of 33 markets studied.

In another new-home study, the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 New-Home Quality Study, Centex Homes and Pulte brands each received the highest-quality ranking in seven of 33 market areas, and the rate of customer-reported problems with home quality was 1,151 problems per 100 homes in 2008, compared with 1,345 problems per 100 homes in 2007. This study takes into account "the number of problems that occur, the severity of problems and size of the home," and covers 41 problem areas in new homes, such as interior paint, windows and doors, and drywall.

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