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Pools Add At Least $140,000 in Value to a House

Slim Aarons, Nice Pool, 1955

In the past few weeks, we’ve discussed the changing attitudes towards the amount of backyard inner city buyers prefer. We found that the ‘sweet spot’ in the ratio of internal space to land size for period terraces was between 1:0.3 to 1:0.47, however this was likely skewed by larger properties bought by the extremely wealthy. For this section of the market, the focus is on creating a dream sanctuary with the largest block size. Here, where space is no longer a luxury but a given, swimming pools are a common addition to backyards.

As Melbourne skinny dips in and out of summer’s hottest days, Secret Agent thought we’d revisit our research on these cool inner city retreats to find out the value created by having a pool in your house. 

We looked at ten suburbs in Melbourne’s inner East and South East: Kew, Hawthorn, Hawthorn East, Toorak, Kooyong, Armadale, Malvern, Glen Iris, Camberwell and Brighton. The study was limited to only include three to five bedroom houses for a more realistic representation of a pool’s value.

On average, a swimming pool added between 10% and 16% to the value of a house, with the lowest expected value created being approximately $140,000.

However, this varied between suburbs, from as low as 6% in Camberwell, up to 35% in Hawthorn East. In Kew, houses that featured a pool were expected to sell for $450,000 more, which is a premium of about 30%. In Hawthorn, a pool is expected to only add $180,000 (11%) to the value of a property.

There are a few explanations for the differences in added value. For example, a big house may have other extensive renovations aside from a pool; such as a cellar, theatre room, tennis courts and sculptured gardens. Additionally, the number of car spaces and the school zoning would have an impact on sale price.

A swimming pool can be a wonderful addition and a good investment despite its seemingly high upfront costs, since the lowest expected value it can create is around $140,000. Much more than just dollars and cents, a pool satisfies our natural, instinctive need to be close to water.

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