A house with its own private pool is on the wish list for many and there are parts of the UK where some house hunters wouldn’t consider a home without one.
But while that might be true of the upper market in the south-east of England, Scottish weather means homes with such facilities are a bit rarer.
Anna Gardiner, associate director at Savills, says that in terms of the complete package for a large house or estate, a pool is usually seen as a bonus, rather than a must-have although in the past she has had a viewing for a property cancelled because the pool wasn’t big enough.
She says: “There are definite lifestyle buyers who are looking for their home to have everything from a tennis court, to equestrian facilities and a pool and gym to suit a sporty family but at the upper end they may well want to design their own.
“It is true to say there are few houses on the market with pools in Scotland but that isn’t to say that they are quite so rare.
“The level of investment required to put in a swimming pool tends to mean homeowners are planning to stay long term so homes with good pools do come on to the market less often.”
David Corrie, senior associate at CKD Galbraith, says those looking for a private pool are in an upper income bracket. “There is an ongoing maintenance cost which you have to assume any buyer will be able to afford easily and that might not be true of buyers of a smaller home,” he says.
“Having said that, we sometimes see a brand new, quite modest house that has been designed around a pool.
“If you have a master bedroom with a shower room for instance that leads to a small exercise pool, then people are more likely to use it every day.”
At the other end of the scale is a designated entertainment wing or separate building housing a private pool complex but whatever the scale, Corrie says new technology is making owning such facilities a lot less costly.
“Heating a pool with oil for example is expensive but we’ve seen them heated by a biomass boiler, which attracts a subsidy, or by ground source heat pumps.
“With a heat recovery system to keep the room warm they become cost effective.”
As for the value a swimming pool adds to the property, it is unlikely that you could count on recovering the cost of installation if you were to sell.
Gardiner says: “They certainly add to the value in terms of holiday letting but for sales they don’t add a great deal, except perhaps in desirability.”