Swimming pools are high on the wish list of homebuyers

Since the beginning of the boom, the pool companies have been overwhelmed by demand, despite price increases and labor shortages.

Cameron Levick, chief executive of Plungie, a prefabricated pool company, said while their business was only four years old, their volume in fiscal 2020-21 was up more than 300 percent year-over-year.

Backyard Swimming Pools: Lifestyle Goals.

Backyard Swimming Pools: Lifestyle Goals.Credit:Brook Mitchell

Levick said demand has been driven by the allure of having access to a pool even during lockdown while also increasing property values.

“Generally speaking, when you build and renovate a home, when you add a swimming pool, you add value, but you also increase the number of potential buyers,” he said.

“People really wanted to make a strong investment in their home. They might have had the money because they didn’t go on expensive vacations abroad.

“It was part of a larger question: ‘How can we make our home a resort and be happy in spending time?'”

Mr Pools’ Sydney-based chief executive Anthony Papadopoulos said families are trying to create an improved lifestyle at home rather than being able to go on international holidays.

“Many have wondered how long [it would be before] They were able to travel, so instead of knowing when they could travel again, they decided to spend money on their homes,” Papadopoulos said.

“We’ve had a boom from an inquiry perspective, but we’ve also been a lot busier due to shortages due to COVID and the weather over the last year and a half. So everything is even busier than before.”

Maroubra homeowner Christine Perry had a pool installed in November to enjoy with her grandchildren in time for Christmas. The compact plunge pool was chosen to fit within the space available.

Christine Perry enjoys her newly installed swimming pool.

Christine Perry enjoys her newly installed swimming pool.Credit:Janie Barrett

It was planned as part of a larger home renovation pre-COVID, but the pandemic meant the pool could be installed sooner because the family was saving money by not going on vacation.

“This is the perfect pool for anyone who wants low maintenance and just the perfect size to cool off,” she said.

Her installer, Peter Roberts, director of Pete The Pool Man, said demand is high as homeowners invest in their properties but staff shortages are a challenge for the industry.

This had pushed prices up and some customers, surprised by the high cost of larger pools, turned to him in search of smaller alternatives.

“More people, families, are basing their decisions on their budget,” he said.

Melbourne-based founder and builder of Blue Pools and Spas Jean Michelet said although he’s already booked for next year, rate hikes have started to bite the industry.

“We’re getting fewer leads … in the last few months and that’s a direct impact of home loan interest rates as they’ve increased interest rates,” Michelet said.

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“Pools are definitely a luxury purchase, for some it doesn’t matter, but for others it can get pretty tight.”

Michelet said entry-level pool packages, which cost $55,000-$60,000 when the pandemic began, have now risen to at least $70,000-$75,000, deterring some buyers but not others.

“Last year was pretty intense, it was the most intense. We refused to work the whole time,” he said.

“We’re still booming, but I can definitely feel that it’s calming down now, people are a little more cautious about interest rates.”

https://www.smh.com.au/property/living/our-oasis-how-homeowners-splashed-cash-during-the-great-swimming-pool-boom-20221207-p5c4jy.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_property Swimming pools are high on the wish list of homebuyers

Brian Lowry

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