Realtors might not agree on whether pools add a lot of resale value to a home, but what most of us can agree on is that relaxing by the pool in the sunshine or going for a quick swim on a hot day is pretty great.

If you ever thought about installing a pool, you probably wondered what it’d cost you. And if you’re one of the lucky owners of a home with a pool, you probably wondered whether having a pool makes your home worth more than other homes in your area.

Well, wonder no longer! We researched prices of homes with and without a pool in 420 cities in the United States to see where houses with pools are cheapest, where they come at the highest premium, and where swimming pools are most prolific.

Key Findings

  • Eight out of 10 cities with the highest concentration of homes with a pool are in Florida (and it’s not even close)
  • Topeka, KS has the cheapest houses with pools, averaging $60,200
  • New York City boasts the most expensive pool properties, averaging $4.2 million
  • In 96% of cities we analyzed, homes with pools were priced higher than homes without pools
  • Only in 18 out of 420 (4%) of cities were homes with pools cheaper than an average home 
  • New York City has the greatest pool premium – a house with a pool costs six times the price of an average home

Pools Per Person: Where Are Homes With Pools Most Common?

Where else would houses with swimming pools be popular if not in the Sunshine State? 

Of the 10 cities with the highest percentage of real estate listings with pools, eight are in Florida. Topping the list is Boca Raton, FL, where three in four homes (74%) on sale have a pool.

Other cities where homes with pools prevail are all on Florida’s Atlantic coast: Miami, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Hollywood, FL, Pompano Beach, FL, and Sunrise, FL. Despite a close proximity to the beach all these cities share, at least two-thirds of homes on sale come with a swimming pool.

The only two non-Florida entries are two places in Orange County, CA – Irvine (65.3%) and Mission Viejo (62.4%).

“Of the 10 cities with the highest percentage of real estate listings with pools, eight are in Florida.”

Where are homes with pools least common? Rather unsurprisingly, turns out it’s in Anchorage, Alaska, where only 2% of homes on sale come with a swimming pool. What can be surprising, however, is that there are any homes with swimming pools there, given the local climate.

Other places where you’d struggle to find a home with a pool are cities like Lincoln, NE (2%), Green Bay, WI (3%), and Newark, NJ (3%).

When buying a home with a pool, it’s preferable to choose a location where pools are rather common than an exception. Don’t assume that the very fact of having a pool makes your house more desirable and increases its market value. Not everyone likes pools; they add up extra maintenance expenses. If your property stands out considerably from the lifestyle of the rest of the neighborhood, it may be difficult to resell in the future due to a lack of comps. To analyze the market in which it’s best to buy a home with a pool, consult an experienced local realtor in your area. An expert will help you not only buy the home of your dream but also avoid losing money and time when reselling it.

Save on a Swimming Pool: Cities Where Houses With Pools Are Cheapest

Most cities with the cheapest homes with swimming pools are in the Midwest. The Midwest might not have the year-round sunny climate of Florida or Southern California, but summers are still warm with ample sunshine, so those pools are definitely not going to waste.

In Eureka, WI, for example, homes with pools sell for around $104,000. The second cheapest city for a house with a pool is Detroit, MI. In a city that might finally be succeeding with urban renewal, a house in Detroit with a pool will set you back around $145,000.

A curious case of cheap houses with swimming pools is Atlantic City, NJ. Around 27% of house listings in the casino capital of the Tri-State area have swimming pools, and yet an average home like that costs just $147,000 – third cheapest in the country.

Thinking about buying a cheap house with a pool, but don’t want to move to Atlantic City or the Midwest? Not to worry, we put together this handy map, which shows cities where houses with pools are the cheapest in (nearly) every state.

Sheer Extravagance: Cities Where Homes with Pools Cost The Most

From Atlantic City and the Midwest to… mostly California, there exists expensive pool real estate too. California towers over them all, being host to eight out of 10 cities where homes with pools are the most expensive in the country.

That being said, the place where a property with a swimming pool has the most inexplicably high price is New York City, where an average such home goes for $4.2 million. 

“Based on our study of real estate listings across 420 cities, a home with a swimming pool was worth on average 47% more than a home without one.”

This high price is likely due to the fact that most homes for sale in NYC are apartments, and only the most luxurious ones would have a communal or indeed a private pool. 

Behind The Big Apple are all the usual suspects – including popular cities in California which are known for, among other things, the already expensive real estate. Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, and Burbank complete the top five – a house with a pool in these cities is priced on average at $2.2 million or higher.

Behind them are Pasadena, CA and three cities in the Bay Area: San Francisco, San Mateo, and San Jose. Homes with swimming pools here are cheaper than in and around LA, but still cost between $1.5 and $2 million.

A rather unexpected entrant on the most expensive list is Stamford, Connecticut. A typical home here costs $525,000, but if you’re on the market for a house with a pool in this city which features an easy commute to New York City, get ready to fork out $1.4 million! 

Pool Premium: How Much More is a Home with a Pool Worth?

Based on our study of real estate listings across 420 cities, a home with a swimming pool was worth on average 47% more than a home without one.

There were, however, a few cities where pool premium were astoundingly high. Chief among them was New York – a city where a home with a pool, and not necessarily a private one, costs an average of $4.2 million, which is over 6 times the value of an average home.

A city with an already similarly expensive real estate and a ridiculous pool premium is Los Angeles, where a home with a pool goes for an average of $3.3 million – four times the price of an average home there (i.e., $827,000).

Otherwise, the top 10 cities with the greatest price jump between a typical home and a home with a swimming pool are places with relatively cheap real estate. For example, in Youngstown, OH, Birmingham, AL, and Jackson, MS, an average home is priced well under $10,000. But homes with swimming pools in these same cities are about five times more expensive.

With pools at such high premium, are there in fact any places where houses without pools are more expensive than those with pools? 

There are, but those places are in the minority: only in 18 out of 420 towns and cities we profiled had lower average prices for homes with pools than homes without them. With a few exceptions, most of them were in California.

In Sunnyvale, CA, for example, homes with pools averaged a price tag of $818,000 – roughly half the price of an average listing, which is at $1,774,000.

Same goes for Eureka, WI, already mentioned above as the place with the some of the cheapest pool homes, where homes that have a swimming pool sell for $104,000 – less than half the average listing price of $214,000.

Unlike studies in the real estate industry that place an estimate of value added by a swimming pool is around 7%, our study didn’t compare homes where the presence of a pool was the only difference. 

However, there’s no denying the fact that having a swimming pool, a shared one and especially a private one, is somewhat of a luxury. They can be expensive to build, heat up, and require some effort to upkeep. And luxury by definition comes at a premium, as evidenced by the findings of our study.

Should You Buy A Home With A Pool?

Summer is around the corner, so if you’re looking to buy a home with a pool, make sure you weigh up all the pros and cons before making this important decision. If you’re a homeowner thinking about adding a pool to your home, check out some helpful articles we’ve put together on the subject. 

Sources and Methodology

Using the Census Bureau’s population estimates by city, we took the top 500 most populated cities in the U.S. and looked up their housing market details from Trulia, a registered Trademark of Zillow, Inc., a licensed real estate brokerage

Only the cities that had data available on Trulia, and at least 10 homes with a pool in current sales listings, were included in the final list. The final dataset contains 420 cities spanning 47 states, and the District of Columbia. 

Illustrations by Chrissy Curtin