Dallas homebuilder gets top marks J.D. Power survey

Sep. 12--This year's slowdown in homebuilding might mean better quality of construction for buyers.

That's because builders are no longer in such a hurry to finish up houses.

"The builders are carrying higher amounts of inventory than they have in the past," said Paula Sonkin, vice president of the real estate and construction industries practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "They are delivering more homes on time and complete so there are fewer construction problems.

"It's a silver lining to the slowdown in the market."

California-based J.D. Power just completed its annual survey of the U.S. homebuilding industry.

The consumer market research found that overall complaints about new home quality are down about 7 percent this year.

The most common complaints are about sidewalk, driveway and foundation cracks; crooked walls; visible carpet seams; and landscaping.

Among builders, Dallas-based Centex Homes had the highest customer satisfaction ranking in J.D. Power's nationwide survey of recent homebuyers. Pulte Homes -- which buildings in North Texas -- was second in the consumer poll.

In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, J.D. Power's research rated Huntington Homes highest in new-home quality. Fox & Jacobs Homes and Centex Homes were next in consumer ratings.

On average, homebuyers have about 13 problems with their new homes.

In terms of overall quality, the D-FW area was about 10th among the 34 U.S. housing markets J.D. Power surveyed.

"For the most part satisfaction has remained fairly stable and high" in Dallas-Fort Worth," Ms. Sonkin said. "Overall people are pretty happy.

"There are always a few people that make a lot of noise."

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