Pets have been playing an increasingly important role in shopping for a home. More Americans have become pet owners during the pandemic, and they’re prioritizing their pets’ needs when looking for a home or rental. Forty-three percent of pet owners say they’d be willing to move to accommodate their pet, according to a 2021 study from the National Association of REALTORS®. What’s more, 68% of pet owners surveyed by realtor.com® say they would pass on an otherwise perfect home if it didn’t meet their pet’s needs.
“As we ease back into a post-pandemic lifestyle, we see residents and potential residents at our communities nationwide making significant changes to accommodate their pets’ needs—even more than they did in the past,” says Josh Hartmann, CEO of NexMetro Communities, a developer of luxury leased-home neighborhoods.
A new survey from NexMetro found that more consumers say they’re spending more time with their pets and are showing an increased desire for more pet-friendly conveniences. The following are top amenities that pet owners say they’re looking for:
- Fenced-in backyard
- Durable flooring
- Trails and sidewalks
- Adequate square footage
- Outdoor play areas
“In the past, individuals may have been comfortable in an apartment with their pet,” Hartmann says. “However, once they began working from home, or spending more time at home—they sought more space for themselves and their pet. They are focused on what they perceive will create an enhanced quality of life for their pets.”
NexMetro is building communities that are prioritizing pets. For example, the company’s Avilla Homes neighborhood in Arizona offers single-family rentals with sidewalks, green spaces, and animal play areas that encourage pet ownership activities and connection, they say. Each detached rental home also includes individual yards for pets. Inside, the homes have easy-to-clean hard-surfaced floors and pet doors.