Average price of new pools skyrockets

The average price of a new swimming pool built in Wilton this year has skyrocketed 64.47%.

The average value of a pool, among those for which permits were approved at the town building department between January and July, was $93,000. That is up from $56,545 the previous year, which itself was down 29.5% from $64,633 a year earlier.

There were 10 pools applied for between January and July, about the same number as last year, when 11 were applied for through August.

However, the difference in how much homeowners are spending on their pools tells a story.

The most expensive pool was valued at $150,000, followed by one at $140,000. The least expensive was $30,000.

The busiest months for pool permits were March and May, when there were three permits in each of those months.

There’s no question these are luxury items.

“We've had nice pools with masonry work outside, with patios constructed around the pools, and outdoor kitchens,” said Mark Lawrence, the assistant building official. “We’ve seen larger pools going in,” he said, adding the average size is 20 feet by 40 feet.

“I just think the design of the pools is more expensive,” he said, pointing out the town has nowhere near the number of pools being built as neighboring Westport.

“It’s a year we’ve hit more expensive designs,” he said.

The high price tags on pools typically mean someone is spending on an inground pool with high-end gunite lining, in addition to ornamental masonry and landscaping work.

From a municipal perspective, it’s a good thing when residents build luxury pools because it means more tax revenue for the town.

From a residential perspective, it means Wilton residents are comfortable with their situations, said economist Steven Glazer of Norwalk Community College, speaking last summer when the trend toward pricier pools first surfaced.

“My initial thinking on this is that people are willing to spend so much on something that will enhance the value of their homes because they are concerned with the resale value of the home and feel comfortable with their disposable incomes and job security to spend this amount of money to increase their home’s net worth,” Glazer said.