Zoomers Prioritize Pet-Friendliness Over Their Romantic Partners When Choosing A Home

Zoomers are approaching homeownership from a different perspective than past generations, focusing more on their pets than their romantic partners.

A recent Zillow survey found that Gen Z adults consider a fenced backyard more essential than a double sink in the primary bathroom, a home office for their partner, or a kids’ playroom.

When asked whether it was more important to have a pet-friendly home or a kid-friendly home, features, 10% more Zoomers chose the former. At the same time, almost a full quarter of Gen Z pet owners would move if their home wasn’t working for their pets. Only 12% said the same about their partners’ preferences.

“Young adults may be delaying parenthood, but they’re not putting off pet parenthood,” said Zillow 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 homebuying years, it follows that their pets will have a greater influence on their moving decisions, perhaps more so than their significant other.”

These homebuyers are more likely to prioritize large homes with extra rooms and outdoor space. Zillow’s research shows that listings with a fenced backyard sell close to three days faster than similar homes, including those with playrooms.

Pet-friendly properties are in high demand after adoptions soared thanks to Covid. Nearly one in five households adopted a pet during the pandemic. Now, almost three-quarters of buyers have at least one pet, an all-time high, and up 9% from 2020.

Renters are facing huge challenges in particular. Competition for apartments is high, and some renters have struggled to find pet-friendly units they can afford.

Gen Z is now the only renter-majority generation, but the majority want to own a home one day. Nearly 60% of this cohort associate buying a house with achieving the American Dream.

Industry pros who emphasize the benefits of homeownership for pets may find success helping Zoomers make the switch.