A backyard barbecue with friends, family and a swimming pool is a quintessential July 4th celebration. And it’s something Americans may take for granted.
That’s because residential pool construction activity sank this year and demand for the amenity is far from pre-recession levels. U.S. pool repair and construction activity dipped 4.6% this year, according to property data provider BuildFax.
The pool industry, like housing, took a deep dive during the crisis. In 2008, about 129,000 new pools were constructed and that figure sank to 54,000 in 2009. The market is far from full recovery with only 75,000 new pools in 2017, according to the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals. And with sluggish signals in the broader real estate market, the pool market may be encountering another roadblock.
“The 2019 decline may be attributed, in part, to the housing slowdown,” BuildFax COO Jonathan Kanarek said. “In this tightening market, homeowners are more likely to invest in repairs or remodels that will notably increase the value of their property.”
Despite a national slowdown, two metro areas were a boon for pool builders. Pool activity in the Atlanta and Miami metros grew 14% and 7%, respectively. The top three states for residential in-ground pools are California, Florida and Texas.
The decision to build a pool is a big financial investment for a homeowner with an average cost of nearly $40,000.