The backyard pool was the most successful keyword used by Victorian house hunters, with nearly 3 million finding properties using the terms 'pool' and 'swimming pool' on realestate.com.au in 2018. But it’s no surprise to Barry Plant agent Kieron Hunter who said the backyard pool is in vogue, especially around Highton.
Yet it wasn’t always that way, with Geelong buyers once looking at them as all maintenance and hassle, Mr Hunter said. Buyers 20 years ago were even provided the estimated cost of filling them in, he said.
“Pools are so in vogue right now — everybody wants a pool,” he said. “The technology has changed now in how they actually run, how they’re filtered, how the computer systems work. They pretty much manage themselves, some are even self-cleaning, and you don’t have to be handling chemicals.”
More than 300 properties with swimming pools were traded in the past 12 months, data from CoreLogic found. Mr Hunter said a pool was a must-have for a property at the top end of the Highton market.
“They are definitely a requirement when you start getting into about the $900,000 range. “They want a pool, or room to put a pool,” he said.
Mr Hunter said entertaining is top priority in high-end markets and how much the outdoor deck is kitted out will dictate the level of interest a property attracts. He said crowds would be almost double to see a similar build house where the deck has screens and a pizza oven, compared to one with a bit of a deck.
Ray White, Lara agent Terry Cleary said while people always seek internal features like ensuites and airconditioning, the pool, entertainment area and a shed remained the most sought after.
“For families and grandparents, garages and pools remain very high on the checklists,” he said. “When it comes to outside, entertainment areas with pools, outdoor areas and sheds remain very high.
The list of most successful keyword search terms shows buyers value entertaining, views and the water more than ensuring a house has a study, built-in robes or solar panels.
This decision comes after a long-running campaign by SPASA Victoria - and other leading industry stakeholders - who have stridently promoted the importance of a mandatory barrier inspection program in Victoria for many years.
It was only one year ago that SPASA Victoria - along with many other industry stakeholders – were surprised at the Government’s announcement of proposed new legislation which would have forced thousands of pool and spa owners to endure the inconvenience and expense of re-fencing their pool and/or spa areas for no guaranteed improved safety outcome.
“It is with great delight that the decision to implement a mandatory barrier inspection program in Victoria has been made by the Government. To their credit, the Andrews Government saw the logic and reason behind our advocacy. With the support of the opposition, the community and other leading industry stakeholders, this critical piece of legislation has now been officially passed in Parliament. Our advocacy and reasoning has been heard and acted upon. Thank you Minister Richard Wynne,” says SPASA Victoria CEO, Chris Samartzis.
After years of heavy media promotion along with highly strategic advocacy, the hard work and passion of those within the pool and spa industry has delivered a great result for Victoria.
For further information please contact:
Kathryn Barres – Marketing Communications Co-ordinator
For Media Comment: Chris Samartzis, CEO SPASA Victoria – 0418 443 758
Former Olympian Matt Welsh OAM has once again joined Kidsafe Victoria to help save lives over Summer at the launch of their ‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ Campaign.
The Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Victoria (SPASA Victoria) is delighted to continue to collaborate with Kidsafe on this important campaign.
Kidsafe’s national ‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ campaign calls on all pool and spa owners to check the safety and compliance of their pool or spa barrier when they change their clocks at the beginning of daylight saving time on Sunday October 7th 2018.
SPASA Victoria is excited to collaborate in this campaign launch today, as an important follow-on to many years of advocacy work done on pool and spa safety in Victoria. Visit SPASA Victoria’s pool and spa safety advocacy page here https://www.spasavic.com.au/pool-spa-safety-campaign/campaign-overview
SPASA Victoria is strongly of the view that inspections of pool and spa barriers should be mandatory in Victoria. CEO Chris Samartzis says, “Pool and spa barrier inspections are currently mandatory in only three states - NSW, QLD and WA. Since the introduction of mandatory inspections in WA in 1992, there has been an 80% reduction in the rate of toddler drownings.”
While safety barriers can be effective in reducing the risk of drowning incidents, evidence suggests that a large number of drowning deaths are the result of barriers that are faulty, or non-compliant with Australian standards.
"Pool and spa barriers are exposed to the extremes of weather all year round which can lead to rust, loose or missing bolts or screws and wear and tear over time. It's critical that pool and spa owners regularly check and maintain their barriers to ensure they are safe and fully compliant," Samartzis says.
“Common faults or non-compliance issues include gates and doors that are no longer self-closing or latching, gates that are propped open and climbable objects near the barrier,” added Kidsafe Ambassador Mr Welsh. “There is no better use of 15 minutes of your time than checking the safety of your pool barrier in preparation for the warm summer months ahead. By doing so, you could save a life.”
This October 7th, take 15 minutes to check the safety of your pool barrier – because Safe Barriers Save Lives.
For further information on this campaign please visit kidsafevic.com.au
To find out more about pool and spa barrier regulations visit http://www.vba.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/21071/PN-05-2018-Swimming-Pool-and-Spa-Safety.pdf
This campaign is proudly supported by SPASA Victoria, Play it Safe by the Water, Safetech Hardware, Protector Aluminium and The Victorian Pool Check & Compliance Agency
Common issues with pool fences include:
Since the collaboration and intellectual property sharing of our Water Neutral Pool Program with the South African Pool & Spa Association last year, the benefits of this innovative water-saving initiative are now being recognised and adopted internationally.
The drought in South Africa’s Western Cape Region was so severe, it was having a negative impact on their swimming pool industry, so much so that there was a proposal from the City of Cape Town council to put an indefinite ban on the construction and installation of all new swimming pools.
South Africa is by nature a water scarce region and in recent years, climate change has caused several droughts around the country. These conditions continue to affect a great many pool owners. The Western Cape in particular continues to face a severe drought, the most extreme in more than 100 years.
The members of South Africa's National Spa & Pool Institue (NSPI) have an innate respect for water and therefore launched this Water Neutral Pool initiative to encourage all pool owners to convert their existing pools to become Water Neutral.
All NSPI Members highly recommend that new pool owners follow the criteria to meet the standards of a Water Neutral Pool. They promote the important fact that owning a Water Neutral Pool will not only save water but will also minimise costs through reduced chemical, energy and water use.
This success story illustrates how globally, we can all help to preserve our most valuable resource - water. And how pool ownership and conservation can easily and successfully go hand-in-hand. The Italian industry have also reached out to SPASA Victoria for assistance around water conservation for residential pools and are also adopting the Victorian program.