Forget the swimming pool; an overwhelming majority of home buyers have something else at the top of their wish lists, according to a new survey.
A new finder.com.au survey of 1043 people found that 65 per cent believed air conditioning was an essential property feature, followed closely by a carport or garage (60 per cent).
Rounding out the top five were a backyard (52 per cent), solar panels (33 per cent) and an outdoor entertaining area (24 per cent).
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Bessie Hassan, consumer advocate at finder.com.au, said the more demand there is for a particularly feature, the more value it will add to a property.
“A home needs to have air conditioning, a backyard and off-street parking to command big bucks these days,” she said.
“Australians have become more accustomed to air conditioning and plenty of people now see it as vital. It’s pretty common in some parts of the country to get temperatures in the late 30s and buyers are prepared to contribute more if it means keeping cool at home.”
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data three in four Australian households have air conditioning.
In second place, a garage or carport (60 per cent) is seen as far more important than a garden (52 per cent).
“Living up to stereotypes, men are slightly more likely to desire a garage than women (62 per cent of men compared to 58 per cent of women),” said Ms Hassan.
“Surprisingly, just half of home buyers believe a backyard is a draw card.”
Green features are growing in popularity, with modern house-hunters prioritising solar panels over swimming pools. As the price of electricity rises, the presence of solar panels is paramount for one in three (33 per cent) buyers, according to the survey.
Solar panels was the fourth most sought-after feature for both men and women. ABS figures show that solar panels are being used by 14 per cent of all households.
According to the survey, one in four home buyers want a deck.
“This is a significant trend,” Ms Hassan said. “Aussies love outdoor entertaining and there’s always going to be demand for external balconies and pergolas.”
The survey found that the trend is particularly strong among people in Victoria (29 per cent) and Queensland (28 per cent).
Meanwhile, features like a built-in BBQ (4 per cent) or a water feature (2 per cent) were a long way down the wish list.