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FairfaxReal EstateSurvey says: Pet owners buying bigger houses

Survey says: Pet owners buying bigger houses

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Nearly three-quarters of home buyers in 2021 reported having at least one pet, up nine percentage points from 2020, and pet owners are more likely to purchase larger homes with more bedrooms, according to a new survey.

Zillow’s 2021 Consumer Housing Trends Report finds nearly three-quarters of property-purchasers report having at least one pet at home (73%), a big jump from the 64% of buyers who reported having a pet in 2020.

Pandemic pet ownership is soaring among buyers, impacting the types of homes they are likely to buy, according to Zillow data.

“Pets are widely considered part of the American family, so it follows that they can factor into moving decisions,” says Manny Garcia, a population scientist at Zillow. “This research shows an increase in pet ownership among recent movers and suggests that pets can impact housing preferences. In some cases, they may even be the catalyst for a move, along with other factors, such as remote work and shifting family priorities.”


Pet owners are more likely to buy larger homes with more bedrooms. Buyers with at least one pet are more likely than those without pets to buy a home larger than 3,000 square feet (17% versus 10%). About one-third of buyers with a pet (36%) purchased a home with four bedrooms or more, compared to one-quarter of buyers without pets (24%).

Zillow’s research also indicates that buyers with pets are more likely to consider private outdoor space very or extremely important (73%) compared to buyers without pets (65%). Conversely, buyers without pets are nearly twice as likely to purchase a condo or buy into a housing co-op (14%) than buyers with pets (8%).

Pandemic movers on the whole have been moving into larger, more affordable homes. Pet-owning buyers skew slightly younger than a typical home-buyer without any pets – 41 years old versus 47 years old.

They are also more likely to have children in the home, which may help explain why they’re more apt to purchase larger homes with more bedrooms.

A Zillow report on 2020 home sales found certain pet-friendly features can contribute to a higher sale price or a faster-than-expected sale.

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