Backyard swimming pools have gone from scorned to superb features in the eyes of Geelong homebuyers.

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 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.

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Written by SPASA Vic