|Concrete slabs, pavers and synthetic lawns are out and Turf Grass is back after a new survey revealed home buyers will pay up to 19 per cent more for a house with a lawn.
After years of lawns being considered as water guzzlers, with hose pipe bans and a rise in drought tolerant grasses, lawn mower sales are booming again as people plant grass everywhere from a tiny patch of yard to across their roof.
Turf Australia general manager Matthew Holmes said: "A revival in mower sales can only mean one thing. There has been a revival in turf.
"People are a lot more aware of the environmental benefits and the health benefits of being outside."
The survey of 114 real estate agents found that 73 per cent of buyers want the green stuff for a safe children's play area, while a third want it to relax and beautify the property.
Families in NSW were prepared to pay the most for a lawn - up to $83,600 on a $440,000 home - followed by Victorians who would pay $79,800 on a $420,000 home, and Queenslanders who would pay $48,600 on a $405,000 home, agents said.
Former Backyard Blitz gardener Jody Rigby said real grass was winning over pavers, synthetic grass, decking and concrete. "It's the Australian way of life to grow up running around in the backyard, and it's not as hard as many think to keep a lawn looking beautiful and green, despite the kids' wear and tear," she said.
LJ Hooker chief Janusz Hooker said backyards were factored into buyer budgets.
"Australians have changed their ideals for a backyard but a townhouse or larger suburban home with an area of grass is still important in 2012," Mr Hooker said.
"For sellers, the key is to put some time into making the lawn look well-cared for and perfect for the new owners - that's how they'll capitalise on the added value of lawn."
It's not just homeowners who want a nice lawn. Commercial offices, hotels and even Parliament House in Canberra want one too - on the roof. "Studies show green roofs allow for a considerable temperature drop," Mr Holmes said.
"People are starting to plant green roofs all around the country - it's not just a little better for the environment but is also reducing the amount of heat in these buildings.
"It will be a long time before every roof has grass on top but imagine if every office building had a lovely green area, it would be relaxing."
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