Metro Denver pet owners want fenced backyards and more when home shopping

The demand for pet-friendly homes and neighborhoods is on the rise as the number of households with children declines and pet ownership increases. According to Jessica Lautz, deputy chief economist and vice president of research at the National Association of Realtors, households with children under 18 decreased from 48% in 2002 to 40% in 2022, while families with pets increased from 56% in 1988 to 70% by 2022.

A survey conducted by and HarrisX among 3,001 U.S. adults found that 82% of Americans with pets say their animals will factor into their purchase decision. These potential homebuyers have specific preferences for pet-friendly features, such as fenced yards with shade, nearby amenities including dog parks, vets, and groomers, and homes that include doggy doors, sunrooms, and mudrooms.

For dog owners, backyards and good fences are critical, as well as walkable neighborhoods with other pet owners for socializing their dogs.

A Zillow survey by The Harris Poll revealed that 60% of Gen Z adults value pet-friendly features when considering buying a home, with 48% prioritizing a fenced backyard over other amenities. Interestingly, 55% of Gen Z pet owners would choose a pet-friendly home over a kid-friendly one.

In the Denver area, realtors are seeing an increase in potential homebuyers searching for places that accommodate aging dogs, with preferences for ranch-style homes and main-floor bedrooms.

Historically, as pet ownership continues to increase, the demand for pet-friendly homes will likely continue to rise. This trend reflects the changing dynamics of household composition and lifestyle preferences among potential homebuyers.

As the real estate market adapts to this shift, it is important for sellers and real estate professionals to consider and market pet-friendly features and neighborhoods to meet the needs of this growing segment of homebuyers. With a focus on accommodating pets and their owners, the real estate industry can embrace this trend and provide options that cater to the evolving preferences of potential homebuyers.

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