Homeowners are selling their pools for millions as demand for land heats up
They were once one of the most coveted features in homes but swimming pools are becoming a rarer site in Sydney as homeowners subdivide them off to sell to developers for millions.
A range of pools snapped off their original blocks have come up for sale with price tags of $1 million-$3 million, with agents reporting the sites will most likely be transformed into duplexes, granny flats and other medium density housing.
Among the strips of land now on the market is a 980sqm block in Turramurra. The land, which is vacant apart from a swimming pool, was subdivided from one of the neighbouring houses and is for sale at $2.25 million.
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Prices set to rise as auction market takes off
A 775sqm block in Mosman that includes just a pool and the surrounding paved area is up for sale through an expressions of interest campaign. Comparable blocks have sold between $2.8 million and $3.2 million.
In Carlingford, a pool and backyard subdivided off the Marsden Rd house in front is up for sale with a price guide of $1.1 million to $1.2 million.
Selling agent Max Pracy of Tracy Yap Realty said many homeowners no longer wanted pools or tennis courts and would rather unlock the value potential in their land.
“A lot has changed in the past 20 years,” Mr Pracy said. “There’s more interest in duplexes and granny flats and buyers often see being close to a train station as more important than having something like a pool.”
He added that a similar trend occurred with tennis courts — a Hunters Hill tennis court subdivided off the neighbouring house on Woolwich Rd recently sold for $3.55 million.
Auctioneer David Scholes has sold off multiple tennis courts and other recreational space and said fewer people were interested in having larger spaces. He added that buyers tended to be drawn to opportunities to build new dwellings from scratch.
Master Builders Australia economist Shane Garrett said homeowners have been able to achieve high prices for land due to a crippling shortage which has kept blocks with building potential in short supply.
The blocks have also remained in high demand because new, shovel ready land was being released too slowly to meet Sydney’s rapid population growth, he said.
The high demand and low supply was driving city prices above those in many much larger global cities situated in more densely populated countries, Mr Garrett said.
Pricey land sales have come as new data showed Sydney real estate was more expensive on a cost per sqm basis than property in New York, Amsterdam and many other land starved world cities.
Prices per sqm were also only marginally lower than those in Japanese mega city Tokyo, famed for its lack of space and cramped living quarters, a Mori Memorial Foundation report showed.
The study examined 20 global destinations ranked highly in the group’s Global Power City Index and compared the average size of properties available at £1 million in each location.
The average £1 million property in Sydney tended to be smaller than those in Seoul, South Korea, which has a greater metropolitan area with more people than the entire Australian population.
Sydney buyers also got less space than those in Toronto, Los Angeles and Stockholm.
Compared to the Harbour City, buyers got substantially less bang for their buck in only three other cities — Hong Kong, London and Paris.
Buyers also got less in San Francisco and Tokyo, but the amount of space was closer to the Sydney average.