AUSTRALIA boasts 1.2 million household swimming pools. The world’s highest per capita rate of pool ownership. An overwhelming majority of homeowners believe pools add value to their property, approximately 90 per cent of pool owners believed their pool boosted the value of their house by an average of $30,000; with estimates ranging between $10,000 and $100,000, depending on size, style and location.

Pool owners place a great deal of value on their pool, both in monetary terms and in (the) enjoyment they get. Research has indicated the further a property was from the coast, the more value owners thought was added. Demography also played a part, with more demand in suburbs with a high proportion of children aged four to 16 and greater household incomes.

Nationally, 20,000 pools are built each year, costing an average $30,000; the same amount thought to be added in value.

However, there is no way to quantify the value added. It would be easier to add $30,000 in value to a house in a suburb where homes are worth $1 million or more, than a suburb with a $400,000 median.

You really have to look at it on a lot by lot basis, It’s hard to put a number on the value, but a good pool is likely to heighten the level of inquiry for a property, which should push the value up.

A pool should complement a property, rather than take attention away from it.

Consensus is that a pool will add value if it is in proportion with the yard and does not overwhelm the garden. Many pools are now almost an extension of the house, making them visible from living rooms to allow easier supervision of children. Pools are popular in the suburbs. Closer to the city, people are more interested in space.

Over the last decade, we have seen the demand for pools remain strong, even as block sizes have shrunk.

There’s not the same demand for big blocks because people don’t have the time or money to maintain them. A lot of people are now foregoing outdoor space, because their recreational activities are centred indoors. Although, If someone wants a flash house, they will want the whole package. They want the prestige and they don’t want people to think they can’t afford the pool. Taking into consideration pool maintenance can set owners back up to $2,000 a year, and thousands more if heated. These costs can eat away at any initial increase in value to the property.

Some property investors shy away from properties with pools, as they can be neglected by tenants and prove costly in the long run. Pool owners will also need to register with the NSW government to ensure they comply with safety regulations after the passing of the Swimming Pools Amendment Act 201.

From 29 April, 2014, a certificate of compliance must be provided when a property is sold or leased. Registration is free on the NSW government website.

When Rick and Sophie Smith bought their family home at Freshwater they were impressed by a specially designed swimming pool situated above the front garage.

Seven years later, the Smiths say they couldn’t do without a pool.

“With four young kids it’s really great, because they can just jump in,” Mr Smith said. “We’re only about a five-minute walk from the beach but the pool is still so handy to have and it can be more of a hassle to get kids organised and to the beach and back.”

The pool is an example of the type of structure that can complement the design of a house; something that appealed to Mr Smith, who works in the building industry.

“Without being a valuer, I think this pool could add a couple of hundred thousand,” Mr Smith said. “These days, pools can cost between $30,000 and $90,000 to set up, so something like this definitely gets you your money back.”

The location of the pool means it is away from falling leaves and is not as costly to maintain as an in-ground pool.

If you are thinking of adding a few touches to your home it is in your best interest to contact your local real estate agent to get some tips on whether it will in fact add to your properties price or deduct from it.

Contact the friendly sales team of Dowling Real Estate Mayfield with any questions you may have 02 4960 0499