A recent survey in America has revealed that more and more people are selecting a home based on how it suits their pets. Dog owners and those who aspire to own a dog are choosing properties with more outside space. The survey also suggests that some people are motivated to move on from the rental market and into their own home because pets are not allowed in most rented accommodation.
It wouldn’t come as a great surprise if a similar survey in the UK yielded the same results.
First Time Buyers and Pets
The survey revealed that roughly one third of recent homebuyers had been motivated to buy their first home at least partly because they wanted more room for their pets. The desire to build equity was only marginally more important to house buyers than accommodating their dog.
The number of people questioned in the survey was relatively small but mortgage lenders in the US say that focus groups have indicated that pets are a priority for those investing in property. One lender has said that they have more clients with savings accounts for their dogs than clients who have opened accounts for their children.
Pets are Substitutes for Children
The increasing importance of pets may have something to do with the fact that young people now wait longer to pass traditional milestones in life including marrying and having children. Today’s first time buyers are more likely to have a dog than a child and dogs are less welcome in rented accommodation than children making the need for investment in property more urgent. Some of the landlords who do allow pets will charge a premium on the rent if you have animals.
There does seem to be a trend for young people to organise their finances around their pets. A financial planning company in New York has stated that buying a pet is the second most important financial goal for young people in the city. Their clients are changing their lifestyles so that they can afford to keep a dog not because they are saving up for a deposit on an apartment.
The situation is mirrored here in the UK where 90% of pet owners consider their animal to be a member of the family and 16% of households went as far as to include their pets in the last national census form. A survey conducted earlier this year revealed that 12% of UK pet owners love their animal more than their partner and 24% love their pet more than their best friend. So, it should come as no surprise that pets influence property purchases.
Pets and House Prices
It is likely that pets usually influence their owners’ choice of home to at least some extent. As pets become more and more important in people’s lives, it could be that the values of pet friendly properties rise more quickly than those of other homes. Houses which offer good outside space for dogs or which are situated on safe roads for cats could start to come at a premium.
If you are looking for a pet friendly property it might be wise to find one sooner rather than later.