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ArlingtonReal EstateSurvey says: Local region not among most dog-friendly in nation

Survey says: Local region not among most dog-friendly in nation

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Local residents may love their dogs, but the Washington region doesn’t make it onto a new ranking of the 15 top emerging dog-friendly locales in the nation.

According to a new survey from Rover and Zillow, 24 percent of dog owners in the U.S. have moved into a new home since the onset of the pandemic, and 62 percent would consider moving to a new home to better accommodate their dog.

“This year, we spent an extraordinary amount of time with our pets, and many of us relied on their companionship more than ever. As a result, our emotional bonds with our pets also strengthened,” said Kate Jaffe, a trends expert at Rover.

A large majority of dog owners surveyed (86 percent) say dog-friendly features – things like a home with a dog door or living near a dog park – are an important factor in their moving decision, and 84 percent are willing to spend more for these features.

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“Pets are taking on an even greater role in our families, so it’s no surprise that our dogs’ needs are a top priority for pet parents considering a new home,” Jaffe said.

To create the 2021 ranking, Rover looked at new dog accounts on its platform, whether from dog owners new to the area or longtime residents with a newly adopted dog, and Zillow dug into cities where dog-friendly rentals and listings mentioning home features dog owners covet are on the rise.

And here are the top 15 dog-friendly cities for 2021 in groupings of five, starting from the top:

• Denver, Orlando, Anaheim, Charlotte and Birmingham.
• Atlanta, Boston, Glendale (Ariz), New Orleans and Tampa.
• Fayetteville (N.C.), Fort Worth, Miami, Nashville and St. Petersburg.

Denver took the top spot largely because of the number of new Rover accounts created. Orlando saw strong growth in the number of rentals listed as dog-friendly during the pandemic, and has one of the highest shares of for-sale listings mentioning dog parks. Anaheim has among the highest share of for-sale listings that feature a dog run.

A fenced-in outdoor space is the most-desired home feature for dog owners Rover and Zillow surveyed. The good news for home shoppers is that the share of listings mentioning fenced yards and outdoor spaces grew more during the pandemic than any other dog-friendly feature Zillow analyzed.

But interested buyers should strike quickly when a home with a yard for their dog catches their eye – homes sold 5 days faster than expected last year when the listing mentioned a fenced yard.

“As we rethink where and how we want to live, we’re re-evaluating what we want and need in a home. For many families, that includes considering what’s best for their four-legged family members,” said Zillow home-trends expert Amanda Pendleton.

(Pendleton noted that even seemingly inconsequential factors can sway would-be buyers. “Homes with a dog hous
e sold for 3 percent more than expected last year,” she said.)
The survey relied on data compiled by Zillow Rover and a survey conducted for them of 1,000 dog owners by Pollfish in April. Only communities with a population of 200,000 or greater according to 2019 U.S. Census Bureau estimates were considered.

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