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French homeowners face long wait for swimming pools as demand soars

Installers’ order books are filled for months in advance - but a pool is not only good to use but can be a sound investment to raise property value 

Nearly 200,000 new swimming pools were installed at homes across France in 2020 and 2021 looks set to be another bumper year says the body representing pool and spa professionals. 

After a year in which 126,500 above ground and 70,300 in-ground pools were installed – a 28% year-on-year rise – the Fédération des professionnels de la piscine et du spa is looking forward to another record-breaking year of double-digit growth. 

However it is not all good news for anyone thinking of having a new pool installed this year. Demand is strong and order books are full for several months in advance and installers are facing a shortage of material.  

Installers advise people to plan their pool project at the start of the year if they want to dip their toes in their own pool in the summer. 

Martine Dru, the manager of Piscines et Paysages de France, in Lyon, told Connexion: “We had a lot of requests during the autumn and winter of 2020. This is continuing and our order book is full until spring 2022,” she said. 

Another pool maker, Florence Chambon, Manager of Piscines de France from the Auvergne, said they “had a lot of requests because with the three lockdowns, people spent a lot of time in their garden and wanted to improve the comfort of their garden. 

“We are doing 30% to 40% more than usual but people often don't realise that a swimming pool is a fairly substantial budget.” 

Installing an average pool will set buyers back between €22,000 and €25,000 before equipment, according to the Fédération. Maintenance – including electrics – will then be between €400 and €600 a year, while local property taxes can increase between 5% and 10%, or between €50 and €100 annually, experts said. 

A one-off development tax, with local and departmental rates to be added, is also payable on pools that exceed 10m2 that require a building permit.  

Despite the cost, a pool is still considered a wise investment. “It represents an added value on the value of the property and can facilitate resale," said Barbara Castillo Rico, of property website Meilleur Agents.  

According to her research, a €15,000 swimming pool can add €40,000 to the price of a 95m2 property. 

Read more: The Connexion's guide to owning a swimming pool in France

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