Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Fur-ever Homes: Pets Are a Motivator to Purchase

The pandemic upped adoptions of both cats and dogs for companionship, something to do away from a screen, and for entertainment. For a period of time, shelters found themselves out of pets as all had found forever homes. The cost for dogs and cats rose as the demand for animals increased, similar to the rise in housing costs.

Analysis showed 43% of pet owners in the U.S. would be willing to move to accommodate their pet! Since there is growth in pet adoptions during the pandemic, this may spur more activity from pet owners. Often rentals have high pet fees, or may restrict the number of pets allowed in a unit. Purchasing becomes a choice for some buyers that may be driven with their pet in mind.

When home buyers did purchase homes, 29% of young millennial buyers (likely a first-time buyer) picked their neighborhood with their pet in mind. Proximity to the vet and outdoor space was important to these home buyers.

Bar chart: Pet Influenced Neighborhood Home Buyer Picked by Generation

By household composition, this is most important to unmarried couples (who may be young buyers), and single women (who range in age). REALTORS® have found for home buyers, home pet features are very top of mind for the home itself. Pet owners want fenced yards and a large enough home for the pet. Pet owners are likely to also take flooring into account, with a preference for hardwood flooring which is easier to clean. Some even want a mud room/animal washing station or a cat litter closet.

Bar chart: Pet Influenced Neighborhood Home Buyer Picked by Household Composition

Overwhelmingly REALTORS® consider themselves animal lovers too: 81% love the 4-legged fur babies & 14% even volunteer for animals.