When pandemic-driven people started looking for bigger, less urban homes, they put a high value on pet amenities, like backyards and durable flooring.
NEW YORK – Pets play an increasingly important role in shopping for a home. Not only did more Americans become pet owners during the pandemic, they also prioritized their pets’ needs when looking for a home or rental.
Close to half of all pet owners (43%) said 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 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 … 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 survey from NexMetro found that more consumers say they’re spending more time with their pets and showing an increased desire for more pet-friendly conveniences.
Top amenities pet owners desire
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’re focused on what they perceive will create an enhanced quality of life for their pets.”
NexMetro is building communities that prioritize 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.