Homeowners taking the plunge by adding a swimming pool to their property may think that they’re substantially increasing their home’s value – but a study reveals that it really all depends on where you live.
Data from Redfin showed that, on an average, homes with pools in Los Angeles sell for a whopping $95,393 more than homes without them. Following Los Angeles in second place is Austin, where a pool adds $52,228 to the median value of a home. In third place is Orange County, Calif. ($55,885), followed by Riverside, Calif. ($44,750), and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ($36,964).
"A pool definitely adds value for Los Angeles homebuyers, especially in the Valley because it's hot outside most of the time," said Redfin agent Lindsay Katz. "People use their pools all year round; we have pool parties in the summer and go swimming on Christmas day. It's ingrained in our culture. In some parts of Los Angeles, particularly in the San Fernando Valley, it's almost a given that a house will have a pool and the lack of a pool can make it harder to sell. Nearly half of my listings have pools, and when they don't, potential buyers are constantly asking whether they can add a pool to the property. It's important to people."
It’s a different story in Phoenix, Ariz., where a pool adds only $11,591 to the value of the typical home in the metro area – the lowest on the list of places where a pool provides a premium.
"In affordable parts of the Phoenix area like South Glendale and Tolleson, homebuyers don't want to pay to maintain a pool. I often find that in homes that sell for less than $200,000, a pool is a negative because it adds so many extra costs for the homeowner," said Redfin agent Katie Shook. "But the reverse is true in the luxury market. In the $700,000 to $1 million price range, especially in remote areas with more yard space, homebuyers expect a pool and they'll pay a premium for it."
For its analysis, Redfin calculated the value of a private pool as a premium to a home's per-square-foot sale price. The ranking is limited to metro areas with at least 5,000 homes sold in 2018 where at least 2% of homes sold had pools, and where the results were statistically significant.
Boston was the only metro that both met the criteria to be included in Redfin’s analysis and has cold, snowy winters. It's also the only place where a pool meaningfully subtracts from the value of a home. A home in the Boston area with a pool is worth $15,484 less than a comparable home without a pool.