The demand for swimming pools has risen throughout the United States over the last eighteen months. Once viewed as a hassle and an impediment to selling your home, swimming pools have become an asset in many markets. In a sign of just how widespread this trend is, pools are even becoming a hot commodity in such Midwest markets like Chicago.
It’s a running theme: COVID has made homeowners and homebuyers rethink the meaning of home. Amenities that once seemed overly burdensome, costly, or are gaining a newfound appreciation. Swimming pools are just the latest example.
Pools are notoriously expensive to maintain. In addition to the pretty hefty installation costs, general physical and chemical maintenance can cost around $6,000 per year. And that’s without factoring in more expensive repairs like replacing the lining. For these reasons, the home swimming pool has become notorious over the last few decades as a source of headache and actually damaging to the value of your home.
All of this is doubly true in colder markets in the Midwest, where you are not likely to get more than 2 or 3 months of use out of a pool. That is, until the last year.
In 2020 the number of new in-ground swimming pool sales went up 24%, one of the largest yearly increases ever recorded. In Chicago specifically, a local trade group reported that the construction of new residential swimming pools went up by 15.6% in 2020 compared with the previous year. Demand is continuing strong as many local builders are backed all the way into 2023.
The rise of swimming pools in an area like Chicago is a striking example of how this is something more than just a passing fad. Historically, 40% of all in-ground swimming pools were located in just two states: Florida and California. The explosion of demand for this amenity throughout the country is indicative of the rising tendency to view homes as a more self-sustaining and fully fleshed space.