If you want to add value to your house, forget the swimming pool — most home buyers have air conditioning at the top of their wish list, according to a new report.

Air conditioning and a carport are the most sought after features in a home, according to a survey conducted by comparison website finder.com.au.

65 per cent of their 1,043 respondents believed air conditioning was the most desirable property feature, followed closely by a carport or garage at 60 per cent.

A backyard (52 per cent), solar panels (33 per cent) and outdoor entertaining area (24 per cent) rounded out the top five.

Bessie Hassan, consumer advocate at finder.com.au, says the more demand there is for a feature, the more value it will add to a property.

“A home needs to have air conditioning, a backyard and off-street parking to command big bucks these days,” she says.

“Australians have become more accustomed to air conditioning and plenty of people now see it as vital. It’s pretty common in some parts of the country to get temperatures in the late 30s and buyers are prepared to contribute more if it means keeping cool at home.”

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, three in four Australian households currently have air conditioning.

Ms Hassan believes gender factored into the survey results.

“Living up to stereotypes, men are slightly more likely to desire a garage than women — 62 per cent of men compared to 58 per cent of women,” she said.

“Surprisingly, just half of home buyers believe a backyard is a draw card.”

Green features also polled well, with respondents prioritising solar panels over swimming pools. The presence of solar panels was paramount for 33 per cent of respondents; ABS figures show solar panels are currently being used by just 14 per cent of all households.

Nearly 40 per cent of baby boomers (aged 55-74) cited solar panels as a sought after feature.

Generation Y (aged 18-34) were the most likely to want a swimming pool, at 23 per cent. Just 10 per cent of baby boomers wanted a swimming pool.

“Some eager sellers spend exorbitant amounts of money adding features like swimming pools, when our research shows that’s only important to 17 per cent of buyers,” Ms Hassan says.

The survey also found that one in four homebuyers are looking for a deck.

“This is a significant trend — Aussies love outdoor entertaining and there’s always going to be demand for external balconies and pergolas,” Ms Hassan says.

“The trend is particularly strong among people in Victoria (29 per cent) and Queensland (28 per cent).”

Other features, like a built-in BBQ or a water feature, were seen as less essential, at 4 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.

The five most desirable features in a home, according to finder.com.au

  1. Air conditioning (65 per cent)
  2. Carport / garage (60 per cent)
  3. Garden / backyard (52 per cent)
  4. Solar panels (33 per cent)
  5. Deck / pergola (24 per cent)

What do you look for in a home? Have your say in the comments below!