A SWIMMING pool can double the value of your property on the open market, according to calculations by estate agency analysts - a typical home in Spain with a pool can cost around €407,704, compared with €193,525 for one without.
These figures vary vastly by area, size and type of home, and nearby facilities, but generally, figures show that homes with a pool tend to sell for twice as much as those which do not have one, or do not have access to a communal one on the same complex.
Buyers of property with a private or communal pool will face higher running costs, although these are well worth it when considering the added value and the luxury of being able to flop into a swimming pool in the heat of the summer without moving much beyond the back door.
Typically, an apartment or villa on a complex or in a block means an annual cost of €780 in 'community' or 'freeholder' fees, which cover maintenance of the grounds, stairwells, parking areas and other shared parts.
Add a swimming pool to the block or estate, and these fees rise to €1,227 on average - an increase of €447 a year.
Of course, these also vary by area, with some being as little as €500 a year or even less for a complex with a pool.
Owning a private pool on an estate not subject to 'community charges' or not part of a freehold complex still involves maintenance fees - cleaning, topping up, checking and altering the chlorine levels and fixing leaks, replacing pumps and so on usually involve specialist knowledge and hard, manual labour, which can cost a typical €700 or so a year by paying a pool company.
Contrary to popular misconception, a swimming pool is not a standard feature of a home in Spain - in fact, only 22.7% of properties on the market have one.
The province of Alicante, whose coast is known as the Costa Blanca, holds the record with 35.2% of homes for sale being equipped with either a private or communal pool.
One would expect the traditional tourism belts to be just behind Alicante, but in fact the second-highest number of swimming pools attached to properties for sale is in Madrid (25.3%), followed by the land-locked central province of Ciudad Real (24.2%) - two areas where the extreme, punishing summer heat make them almost a necessity, but where the winters are among the coldest and longest in Spain.
Málaga province, the coast of which is known as the Costa del Sol, is predictably high up the list with 23.9% of homes for sale including a pool, whilst Logroño, in the land-locked far-northern region of La Rioja, sits at the national average with 22.7%, ahead of Tarragona at 22%.
Only 7.4% of properties on the market in the province of Barcelona have swimming pools, falling to 0.9% in Pamplona, Navarra - and the Basque Country holds the record for the fewest homes for sale with a swimming pool - those in Guipúzcoa province, the capital of which is Vitoria, have swimming pools in just 0.4% of cases, and those in the province of Vizcaya, of which the capital is Bilbao, only have them in 0.6% of cases.
Possibly because of this scarcity, homes with pools in northern provinces see the greatest increase in value - in that of Girona, the coast of which is known as the Costa Brava, a property with a swimming pool is worth 232% of one without, whilst in Pontevedra in the north-western region of Galicia, the price goes up by 177% and in Guipúzcoa, by 171%.
Homes for sale in the Canary Islands with a pool are marketed for 164% of the price of those which do not - very similar to those in the province of Barcelona, where the price increases by 163%.
In Madrid, a pool will only increase the value of your home by 69%, but this is partly because they are much more prolific in Madrid than in Barcelona and Barcelona has a coast, which automatically pushes prices up.
And whilst most pools in Barcelona properties are private, the majority of those in Madrid are communal.
Even in parts of the country where a swimming pool ups the value of a property the least, the difference is still significant for a buyer or seller - in the province of Sevilla, those seeking a home with a pool will pay 24.8% more than for one without, whilst in Ávila in Castilla y León, the price increase is 20.4%, in Zamora - in the same region - the value goes up by 18.5%, in the province of Vizcaya, by 15.6%, and in Salamanca in Castilla y León, by a 'mere' 11%.