Pets Play Role in Homebuying

HOUSTON – (By Dale King, Realty News Report) – Like most people looking to purchase a home, Generation Z adults who are involved in a house search probably put a hunt for creature comforts at the top of their home-shopping list.  But apparently, the youngest generation of would-be home buyers is most interested in the comforts of their creatures with four legs and fur.

New research from Zillow finds that many Gen Z’ers – people born from the late 1990s to the early 2000s — would put their pets’ needs ahead of those of their partners and even their kids — or future kids — if they were in the market for residential property.

A Zillow survey, conducted online by The Harris Poll, finds that three out of five Gen Z adults (60 percent) consider certain pet-friendly features essential in a home they would buy. Nearly half (48 percent) think a fenced backyard is a must-have, compared to 28 percent who feel the same way about a double sink in the primary bathroom or 35 percent who say a home office for their partner is essential.

Even fewer Gen Z adults would consider certain kid-friendly features, such as a playroom (24 percent) or outdoor play set (11 percent), to be indispensable.

The Zillow survey, which was released on National Pet Day, says that if they were buying a home and had to make a choice, most Gen Z pet owners would find it more important to have a pet-friendly home (55 percent) than a kid-friendly domicile (45 percent).

More than one in five Gen Z pet owners (22 percent) say they would move out of their current home if it no longer worked for their pet while only 12 percent would make the same decision if their home was no longer suitable for their partner.

“Young adults may be delaying parenthood, but they’re not putting off pet parenthood,” said Zillow’s home trends expert Amanda Pendleton. “One recent study finds most Gen Z adults would rather have a pet than a child.”

“As this younger generation ages into their home-buying years,” said Pendleton, “it follows that their pets will have a greater influence on their moving decisions, perhaps more so than their significant other.”

She said pets have long been considered part of the American family, but even more people became pet parents during the pandemic. Zillow’s Consumer Housing Trends Report finds that nearly three-quarters of home buyers have at least one pet at home (73 percent), a major jump from the 64 percent of buyers who reported having a pet in 2020.

They Would Rather Share Bedroom with Pet

“Americans love their pets so much so that 13 percent of pet owners who live with a significant other would rather share their primary bedroom with their pet than with their partner.”

Pets can impact home preferences, Pendleton said. Previous Zillow research finds that pet owners are more likely to buy larger homes with more bedrooms. Buyers with pets also are more likely to consider private outdoor space very or extremely important (73 percent) compared to buyers without pets (65 percent).

Even in space-confined New York City, Zillow brand StreetEasy finds more buyers are searching for homes that allow pets than for homes that come equipped with dishwashers.

Spring home shoppers can expect more competition for homes with pet-friendly features, even in a less frenzied housing market. Zillow’s research finds listings that mention a fenced backyard can sell nearly three days faster than similar homes – faster than listings boasting a playroom.

The Zillow analysis says that with fewer new listings hitting the market, pet owners will need to act quickly if they want to nab a well-priced home with these desirable features. They can also check out what amenities may be nearby by entering an address into Zillow’s moving with pets page.

In addition, pet parents can explore veterinarian clinics, groomers and parks in hundreds of neighborhoods around the country to make sure their future home is in a pet-friendly community.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Zillow March 16–20, 2023. A total of 2,066 U.S. adults ages 18 and older were surveyed, of whom 306 are Gen Z adults ages 18–26.


April 14, 2023 Realty News Report Copyright 2023

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