March 16, 2020

Pets influence homebuyer decisions

“You treat me like a dog,” is probably not a very effective complaint anymore.

When it comes to homeowners, the vast majority treat their dogs, and the rest of their furry friends, very well.

Pets were a $95 billion industry in 2019, and it’s a marketplace that’s virtually recession-proof. Even as personal spending dipped in almost every category during the Great Recession from 2007 to 2009, spending on pets remained stable.

Nearly all homeowners with pets (99%) consider their animal pals as part of the family – spending three times as much on their animals as renters in 2018.

According to the National Association of Realtors, families are usually not interested in homes that don't work for their pets.

Millennials list pets as a Top 3 factor in their home buying decision – surpassing both marriage and children.

When finding a home, 95 percent of animal owners believe it is important that a housing community allows animals and 81 percent of U.S. households say that animal-related considerations will play a role in deciding on their next living situation.

A third of prospective home buyers reported refusing to make an offer on a home because it was not ideal for their pets.

A full 12 percent said they left a previous living situation because it negatively impacted their pet.

Naturally, dog owners look for fenced yards, but pet owners also consider:

• Nearby trails

• Pet doors

• Dog parks and dog-friendly parks

• Cat condos, and wide windowsills

• Pet-friendly HOAs

Fifteen percent of all buyers said that convenience to vets and/or outdoor space for their pet was a critical factor in determining where they wanted to purchase their home. That number rose to 20 percent for unmarried couples.