The number of defects in newly-built homes has risen by more than a half, according to a survey carried out by the Glasgow Caledonian University.

An analysis of data provided by the company Inspector Homes showed that the average number of faults rose to 80 in the first half of this year. This was an increase of 53% compared with the same period last year.

The breakdown indicates that the average number of snags has shot up for two, three, four and five-bedroom properties. It blamed joiners, painters or plumbers for more than 60% of the defects.

Vanessa Ambler, Inspector Homes director, said she was disappointed by the findings. She said: “We are aware of a number of new developers whose standards are slipping dramatically - not just in terms of quality but also in customer care. We shall be making them aware of these results in the hope that they will take notice.

“The Barker review recommended that by the end of 2004 a policy should be in place to improve customer satisfaction. Nothing has happened so far because nobody can agree on what to do.”

Mike Freshney, a non-executive director of the Home Builders Federation, who is chairing a working group on improving customer satisfaction, said the results of the survey did not tally with others carried out by the industry.

The findings of the survey can be obtained at

  • David Wilson Homes is the national winner of the Zurich Building Guarantee housebuilding awards. David Wilson is also the winner of the regional award for the north of England and Scotland. The winners of the volume awards for the eastern region were Countryside Properties, for the Midlands and Wales, Bloor Homes, for the South-east, Berkeley and for the South-west, Crest Nicholson.