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Builders get high marks from buyers

J.D. Power: Competition puts focus on the customer

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Homebuilders aren't nearly as busy as they were during the boom, but they're getting the highest marks for customer satisfaction in the 14-year history of a J.D. Power and Associates survey.The New Home Builder Customer Satisfaction Study generates satisfaction rankings for builders in 17 markets, with nine factors driving the overall score: workmanship and materials; builder's warranty and customer service staff; price and value; builder's sales staff; construction manager; home readiness; recreational facilities; builder's design center; and location.The study found customer satisfaction improved from 2009 in eight of the nine factors, with recreational facilities provided by the builder the lone exception. The most notable improvements were in workmanship and materials, home readiness and builder's design center.Overall customer satisfaction improved for a third consecutive year, averaging 826 on a 1,000-point scale -- the highest level since the study began in 1997. Overall satisfa...