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Why owning a pool may not increase your property value

By ,| 2 min read

Thinking of buying a house with a pool? Maybe you’re looking to install a pool to bump up the value of your property before getting an appraisal.

In the heat of the Australian summer, it certainly makes life more comfortable. But does it make a difference in the highly competitive housing market of our major cities?

We surveyed more than 1,000 Australian men and women online to find out how much more they would pay for a house with a pool.

A lot of people may think that having a pool looks great on a real estate ad but our research actually indicates it may not add any value to the average Australian.

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Nearly 40% of those surveyed said a pool would add no value to a property

Lendi - Pool graph all responses

About 47% responded with answers that would amount to considerably less than the actual cost of buying and installing a pool and only one in seven respondents said they’d pay $50,000 or more.

National Research Manager for Australia-wide real estate company, PRD nationwide, Dr Asti Mardiasmo said she wasn’t surprised by these findings as the costs associated with having a pool are “high”.

“And I don’t mean just the financial or obvious costs such as filters, electricity, etc.,” she said.

“But also intrinsic costs such as worrying about leaves in autumn (and who will clean this), making sure PH levels are always correct, any dirt in the water, etc.”

Dr Mardiasmo said prospective buyers should really consider how much they would use their own pool at home before making a decision.

“Depending on where you live there are usually so many public pools and gym pools around,” she said.

“How many times will I realistically use the pool in a month vs cost of keeping it up vs entrance fee to a public pool?

“With growing household costs – petrol, groceries, electricity, water, etc – pools have gone down in the priority list.”

The typical pool and house buyer is younger

Lendi - Pool graph by age

Within the survey, most of the respondents who said they’d pay more for a property with a pool were aged 18 to 34.

Nearly 70% of all 18-34 year-olds surveyed said they’d be willing to pay more for a pool, compared to about 47% of over 55 year-olds.

What does this say about the Australians who desire a pool the most? Is it likely that a younger person looking through the real estate section would like the look of a place with a pool more?

If they are looking for a house to entertain friends in, it’s possible.

Dr Mardiasmo thought “the ability to host great pool parties” at a house was a drawcard for younger generations.

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Owner-occupied vs property investors for pools

What these results may also tell us is the current makeup of those who are or would-be property investors compared to owner-occupied homeowners.

Research published on The Conversation found the typical Australian property investor to be a 44 year-old male earning about $100,000 who has a 72% chance of being married.

Latest housing finance figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics also show that 63.6% of the nation's total dwellings can be attributed to owner-occupied housing. This, incidentally, almost lines up with how many people would pay something extra for a property with a pool.

Dr Mardiasmo thought it was fair to assume that those who would pay more for a property with a pool are owner-occupiers instead of investors.

“Absolutely, as investors do not really want to have to think about ongoing costs of a pool as well as potentially having tenants ruin the pool,” she said.

See our white paper to view the full set of results.

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Tags: land valuation, valuation, home equity loan, home equity, equity

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