The Home Builders Federation has launched a code of conduct to help housebuilders develop higher standards of customer service.

The code, announced at the federation's annual meeting, was drawn up in consultation with members and the National House Building Council.

Housebuilders adopting the code will be urged to draw up a customer Charter, making clear their commitments to homebuyers and how they will achieve them.

Stewart Baseley, the HBF's executive chairman, said: "By outlining standards and practices, I expect the code to enhance levels of satisfaction.

"There is a crucial business rationale behind achieving high levels of customer service and I urge all homebuilders to adopt it."

In March 2004 the Barker review of housing supply, commissioned by the Treasury and the ODPM, recommended that the HBF develop a strategy to assist housebuilders to improve customers' satisfaction with service quality.

The federation is now conducting an annual survey of customer satisfaction among new homebuyers to benchmark success and highlight areas for further improvement.

The results of the inaugural survey, published in February, showed that 76% of purchasers were satisfied with the overall quality of their home and 75% would recommend their builder to a friend.