Based on new research from Zillow finds that many Gen Z adults would put their pets' needs ahead of those of their partners and their kids - or future kids - if they were buying a home.
A Zillow survey, conducted online by The Harris Poll, finds that 3 in 5 Gen Z adults (60%) consider certain pet-friendly features essential in a home they would buy. Nearly half (48%) think a fenced backyard is a must-have, compared to 28% who feel the same way about a double sink in the primary bathroom or 35% 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%) or outdoor play set (11%), to be essential.
If they were buying a home and had to choose, a majority of Gen Z pet owners say it's more important to have a pet-friendly home (55%) than a kid-friendly home (45%). More than 1 in 5 Gen Z pet owners (22%) would want to move out of their current home if it was no longer working for their pet, while only 12% would want to move if their home was no longer working 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, it follows that their pets will have a greater influence on their moving decisions, perhaps more so than their significant other."
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%), a big jump from the 64% of buyers who reported having a pet in 2020. Americans love their pets so much that 13% 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. 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%) compared to buyers without pets (65%). Even in space-confined New York City, Zillow brand StreetEasy finds more buyers are searching for homes that allow pets than homes 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.
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. 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.