Data provided exclusively to the Saturday Daily Telegraph showed ‘pool’ was the most searched for attribute nationally on realestate.com.au
The term was searched nearly 270,000 times over the past six months in NSW alone, five times more than the 52,000 searches of “waterfront” — the second most searched term.
Other popular search terms in NSW include granny flat, which came in third with 34,000 searches, garage with 29,000 searches, pets with 25,500 clicks and beach, which had 21,800 views.
In Victoria the second most searched for term was ‘garage’, with ‘courtyard’ coming in third. In Queensland buyers favoured the acronym ‘NRAS’, which stands for National Rental Affordability Scheme, as well as ‘pets’.
South and West Australian house hunters similarly searched for ‘pets’ and ‘granny flat’, while those in the ACT and Northern Territory were seeking a ‘furnished’ look.
The list also revealed some of the stranger search terms in NSW. Over 6000 people were nutty about ‘macadamias’, while ‘deer’ had 295 searches and ‘airstrip’ had 218 views.
Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said it was unsurprising pools were a popular choice as many people still looked for that “dream” of owning a home with a swimming pool.
“I think having a swimming pool is something people aspire to,” she said.
“Historically there was a view that pools don’t add value, but that seems to have changed.”
The results also reveal that Sydneysiders’ obsession with living near the water hasn’t waned, with many of the sought-after and exclusive suburbs situated near the harbour or beaches, Ms Conisbee added.
“There is a real drive to be near the water, other states have it but not on the same level as Sydney,” she said.
What was also interesting was the increase in demand for a granny flat.
Ms Conisbee said it was a combination of buyers looking for added rental income as well as others needing extra space for extended families.
“With current prices people are always be looking for a bit of extra income,” she said.
“We are also seeing children in their 20s staying at home longer so a separate building to accommodate them makes it bit more comfortable.”
Rich and Oliva property valuer Riccardo Errichiello further strengthened this view, indicating it was granny flats, not pools that were currently a more in demand commodity.
“The cost to build a granny flat is around $120,000. The value of the property would increase by that number and some more at least,” he said.
On average, a pool can add between $30,000 and $50,000 to the value of the house but it tends not to be a necessity.
“They are a capital improvement as long as they don’t take up the whole yard — sizing is a big factor,” Mr Errichiello said.
Families and investors are the two main groups who were seeking these additions, Mr Errichiello added, but there were still other factors like build quality, land size and location that were more important when buying.
When buying their new house in Concord, Michelle Rowcliff and husband Michael Husken weren’t necessarily looking for a home with a pool, but their two kids Cooper and Charli were.
The pair had been searching for a long term home with enough space for their growing family and the addition of a pool was the cherry on top.
“It was a pretty considerable factor because both kids had been keen for ages,” Mrs Rowcliff said.
Devine Real Estate’s Craig Stokes said the warm summer months were a catalyst in the rise of people looking for a pool.
“Pools come up a lot in the search criteria and are quite an important factor,” he said.
“Most people who build a dream home will always have a pool and people who buy older homes have putting in a pool as their first goal.”
Originally published as Home buyers look to dive into the market