In the seventies, a form of ground covering was invented that was referred to as "astroturf." This was a synthetic grass that was used by the Astros inside of their stadium because it was found that playing baseball outside in the Sydney heat was uncomfortable for fans in the summertime.
A domed stadium was constructed, and unfortunately, the lack of sunlight prevented grass from growing on the outfield. The Astros responded by installing the synthetic grass in Sydney that later became popular with homeowners who liked the look and feel of grass but had trouble getting it to grow naturally.
Another motivation would have been the desire of the look without the constant work that is required to keep grass looking good.
Either way, the Astros field also might have lead people toward a decision to not install artificial turf even in areas where the grass is difficult to grow, or areas that undergo frequent droughts which prevent the watering necessary.
This was due to people remembering the Astros field, and thinking that it looked fake and unnatural. While this was true of the astroturf of the seventies, it is hardly the case now.
Another benefit to artificial turf over real grass is the ongoing landscaping charges that most homeowners will pay to keep the grass maintained can allocate that payment towards the artificial turf installation, essentially paying for the synthetic grass in practically no time.