Here's How Pets Influence Housing Sales, According to Zillow

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You're probably already aware that pet ownership has skyrocketed during the pandemic, and you're also likely aware that lots of people are buying and selling homes. Interestingly, those two facts are closely linked right now.

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According to new data by real estate site Zillow, pet ownership plays a big role in what types of homes people are buying or renting.

In 2020, when the pandemic ramped up, a Zillow survey indicated that 64% of buyers had at least one pet at home. In 2021, that number jumped up to 73%. There was also an increase in pet-owning renters between 2020 and 2021, from 51% to 57%.

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As such, Zillow data researchers did a deep dive into pet-influenced home buying trends to find out how exactly how the market is affected by pet ownership.

Truthfully, the results aren't too surprising. Pet owners typically buy bigger homes than buyers without pets. According to Zillow, 17% of pet owners bought homes larger than 3,000 square feet, compared to just 10% of non-pet-owners. Pet owners also place a higher value on outdoor space, with 73% of pet owners considering the amenity "very" or "extremely important" compared to 65% of buyers without pets.

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Where things do get interesting, however, is in the fact that pet-related amenities can actually impact a home's value. Zillow and dog-sitting company Rover report that "certain pet-friendly features can contribute to a higher sale price or a faster-than-expected sale." Such features include dog houses (listings with that keyword sell for 3% more than expected) and fenced backyards (listings with those keywords can sell up to five days faster than listings without them).

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"Pets are widely considered part of the American family, so it follows that they can factor into moving decisions," Manny Garcia, a population scientist at Zillow, said in a statement. "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."

Here's to a happy home and pets!

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