While most think ‘dream home’ visions boards contain swimming pools and chef kitchens as their top wish, it would seem the reality isn’t so.
An overwhelming majority of home buyers have air conditioning at the top of their wish lists, according to finder.com.au, one of Australia’s leading comparison websites.
A new survey of 1043 people found 65% believed air conditioning was the most desirable property feature followed closely by a carport or garage (60%).
Rounding out the top five were a backyard (52%), solar panels (33%) and an outdoor entertaining area (24%).
Bessie Hassan, Consumer Advocate at finder.com.au says the more demand there is for a particularly feature the more value that 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 says.
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%) is seen as far more important than a garden (52%).
“Living up to stereotypes, men are slightly more likely to desire a garage than women (62% of men compared to 58% of women),” says 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%) buyers.
Solar panels was the fourth most sought-after feature for both men and women.
ABS figures show solar panels are being used by 14% of all households.
According to the survey, one in four homebuyers want a deck.
“This is a significant trend – Aussies love outdoor entertaining and there’s always going to be demand for external balconies and pergolas,” she says.
“The trend is particularly strong among people in Victoria (29%) and Queensland (28%).”
Features like a built-in BBQ (4%) or a water feature (2%) were a long way down the wish list.
Nearly 40% of budget conscious Baby Boomers (aged 55-74) cited solar panels as a sought after feature
Generation Y (aged 18-34) are the most likely to want a swimming pool (23%) and a dishwasher (23%).
In comparison only 15% of Baby Boomers and 14% of Generation X wanted a dishwasher.
Just 10% of Baby Boomers wanted a swimming pool, compared to 21% of Generation X.
Ms Hassan says it’s important to do your research when considering whether to make improvements to a home before listing it for sale.
“Some eager sellers spend exorbitant amounts of money adding features like swimming pools, when our research shows that’s only important to 17% of buyers,” she says.