Bovis Homes admitted in May 2017 that it cut corners to meet building targets, and this is evident on one of its developments in Milton Keynes, with one homeowner there listing 120 snags from two years ago. They set aside £10.5 for compensation and remedial work for their properties this year – but are Bovis typical or untypical of major housebuilders?
The biggest builder, locally to us, appears to be Persimmon, whose bad publicity was exacerbated recently by the £110 million bonus paid to Jeff Fairburn, who quit following the award (who wouldn’t?)
We live in a Persimmon home and I’m part of a local Facebook group where grievances are aired about the build quality, fit and finish of the development.
After living in an Edwardian home though for 9 years, with original sash windows, and with more maintenance than a serial divorcee, we’ve actually found the property to be spot on.
Very comfortable with excellent fit and finish, generally.
I wonder though, given the price premium of new homes, and the bonuses paid to CEOs, whether the public are being short-changed with new-builds.
A property with similar square footage to the starter homes on this east Norfolk estate can be bought for around £130,000, whilst these command figures £50,000 higher on smaller plots.
Perhaps developers should develop a “social conscience” and accept that if they can afford to pay Jeff Fairburn £110 million, they can improve the specifications, build quality and raise customer satisfaction by investing in their properties not their CEOs.
I may be financially naive, but wouldn’t it be great if a major housebuilder developed a customer-centric philosophy in 2018 and beyond?
PS. Do any of my connections know a housebuilder who shows ethics in its financial management? I would like to showcase one on here.