More than 1 in 10 Americans say they moved in the past year, often driven by shifting family priorities or increased flexibility while working remotely. But one group flies under the radar: Pet parents making a move for their dogs’ sake. Dogs are increasingly seen as part of their families, so it follows that they factor heavily into moving decisions — and may even be the catalyst for some, especially as pet adoptions have boomed during the pandemic.
According to a new survey from Rover® and Zillow®, 24% of dog owners in the U.S. have moved into a new home since March 2020, and 62% would consider moving to a new home to better accommodate their dog.i With that group in mind, Zillow and Rover have teamed up to introduce a list of the Top Emerging Dog-Friendly Cities for 2021.
“Home became more important than ever during the pandemic, sparking the Great Reshuffling. As we rethink where and how we want to live, we’re reevaluating what we want and need in a home in this new normal. For many families, that includes considering what’s best for their four-legged family members,” said Zillow home trends expert Amanda Pendleton. “Homes with a dog house sold for 3% more than expected last year, while homes with a fenced yard or dog run sold a few days faster than similar homes without these features, even in a year where the market was moving exceptionally fast.”
To create the list of Top Emerging Dog-Friendly Cities for 2021, Rover looked at new dog accounts on their platform, whether from dog owners new to the area or longtime residents with a newly adopted dog, and Zillow dug into cities where dog-friendly rentals and listings mentioning home features dog owners covet are on the rise.
“This year, we spent an extraordinary amount of time with our pets, and many of us relied on their companionship more than ever. As a result, our emotional bonds with our pets also strengthened,” said Kate Jaffe, trends expert at Rover. “Pets are taking on an even greater role in our families, so it’s no surprise that our dogs’ needs are a top priority for pet parents considering a new home.”
Top 15 Emerging Dog-Friendly Cities, according to Zillow and Rover:
- Denver, CO
- Orlando, FL
- Anaheim, CA
- Charlotte, NC
- Birmingham, AL
- Atlanta, GA
- Boston, MA
- Glendale, AZ
- New Orleans, LA
- Tampa, FL
- Fayetteville, NC
- Fort Worth, TX
- Miami, FL
- Nashville, TN
- Saint Petersburg, FL
Denver takes the top spot, largely because of the number of new Rover accounts created, followed by Orlando and Anaheim. Orlando saw strong growth (4%) in the number of rentals listed as dog-friendly during the pandemic, and has one of the highest shares of for-sale listings mentioning dog parks. Anaheim has among the highest share of for-sale listings that feature a dog run.
A large majority of dog owners surveyed (86%) say dog-friendly features — things like a home with a dog door or living near a dog park — are an important factor in their moving decision, and 84% are willing to spend more for these features.
A fenced-in outdoor space is the most-desired home feature for dog owners Rover and Zillow surveyed. The good news for home shoppers is that the share of listings mentioning fenced yards and outdoor spaces grew more during the pandemic than any other dog-friendly feature Zillow analyzed. But interested buyers should strike quickly when a home with a yard for their dog catches their eye — homes sold 5 days faster than expected last year when the listing mentioned a fenced yard.
Moving remains challenging whether you’re bringing a dog along or not, but 80% of recent movers say their most-recent move was worth it. Technology like Zillow 3D Home tours is making it easier than ever to find and explore a new home online, even hundreds or thousands of miles away, giving buyers shopping remotely a greater degree of confidence. Whether you welcomed a new pet into your family or moved into a new city this past year, Rover makes it easy for pet parents to find loving care within your neighborhood. Services include overnight care with pet sitting and boarding and daytime services such as dog walking, doggy daycare, drop in visits and grooming in select markets.
Top Emerging Dog-Friendly Cities ranking is according to Rover’s April 2021 report of new dog accounts in U.S. cities from its database of millions of pet profiles, and Zillow rentals and for-sale listings data. For each city, Rover data on trends in new dog accounts was combined with Zillow data on the share and year-over-year growth of rentals listed as pet-friendly, and the change in frequency of pet-friendly features mentioned in for-sale listings for all homes sold in 2020. The final ranking put equal weight on both Rover and Zillow data — and within Zillow data, equal weight was given to data on frequency of pet-friendly features mentioned in for-sale listings and the share of pet-friendly rentals. Only cities with a population of 200,000 or greater according to 2019 U.S. Census Bureau estimates were considered.
Survey results are based on a Rover and Zillow survey of 1,000 US dog owners via Pollfish in April 2021.
About Zillow Group
Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z and ZG) is reimagining real estate to make it easier to unlock life’s next chapter.
As the most-visited real estate website in the United States, Zillow® and its affiliates offer customers an on-demand experience for selling, buying, renting or financing with transparency and nearly seamless end-to-end service. Zillow Offers® buys and sells homes directly in dozens of markets across the country, allowing sellers control over their timeline. Zillow Home Loans™, our affiliate lender, provides our customers with an easy option to get pre-approved and secure financing for their next home purchase. Zillow recently launched Zillow Homes, Inc., a licensed brokerage entity, to streamline Zillow Offers transactions.
Zillow Group’s brands, affiliates and subsidiaries include Zillow®, Zillow Offers®, Zillow Premier Agent®, Zillow Home Loans™, Zillow Closing Services™, Zillow Homes, Inc., Trulia®, Out East®, StreetEasy® and HotPads®. Zillow Home Loans, LLC is an Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #10287 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org).
Founded in 2011 and based in Seattle, Rover is the world’s largest online marketplace for pet care. Rover connects pet parents with caring pet care providers who offer overnight services, including boarding and in-home pet sitting, as well as daytime services, including doggy daycare, dog walking, drop-in visits, and grooming. Millions of pet parents have booked a service on Rover, with more than 500,000 pet care providers across North America and Europe.
i Source: A Rover and Zillow survey of 1,000 U.S. dog owners via Pollfish in April 2021.
For further information: Alex Lacter, Zillow, firstname.lastname@example.org; Kristin Sandberg, Rover, email@example.com