Bellway and Bovis are the worst housebuilders for customer satisfaction, according to a Home Builders Federation study that shows nearly all house purchasers report defects in their properties.

The two volume housebuilders secured two stars out of five in the two key tests of customer satisfaction. Two stars means that only 60-70% of the companies' purchasers were satisfied with the quality of their homes and would recommend them to a friend.

McCarthy & Stone scored five out of five in both categories, closely followed by Linden Homes.

The survey's findings were published at Thursday's HBF Barker review conference, at which communities minister David Miliband renewed his call on the industry to increase housing supply.

Overall, the survey showed that 76% of homebuyers were satisfied with the quality of their home and 75% would recommend their housebuilder to a friend.

The survey, which was carried out with the National House Building Council, also shows that 93% of purchasers reported snags or defects to their builders. Of those who had complained

of defects, 40% said there had been more problems than they had expected. Just less than two-thirds were satisfied with the quality of service after they moved in and 24% were dissatisfied.

A more heartening finding for housebuilders was that 73% of purchasers were satisfied that their housebuilder had completed their home on time.

The area where improvement is needed is in after-sale service

John Stewart, HBF

The postal survey was carried out last year and was limited to housebuilders with a completion rate of more than 500 units a year. Bryant, Fairview and Gladedale Homes were among the housebuilders producing this number of homes that did not send in returns.

John Stewart, the HBF's economic affairs director, said the latest findings showed that the industry was sharpening up its act on customer satisfaction.

He said: "The area where improvement is needed is in after-sale service, where the industry is not as strong as in other respects.

"People have a realistic expectation of new homes and appreciate that there will be snags. The question is are there excessive numbers?"

Stewart added that major housebuilders were displaying a greater commitment to customer satisfaction at senior management level.

The survey is the first of a regular series that the HBF will carry out as part of its commitment to improve customer satisfaction in response to the Barker review.

Related files/tables