January 11, 2021
No matter which way you slice it 2020 was a rough year, but there were many positives to take away. Vaccines were created and we learned to appreciate our healthcare workers more than ever. We made huge advances in remote work and telehealth which will likely make a lasting impression long after we are on the other side of the pandemic. The Fed got innovative and helped keep our economy afloat and the S&P finished strong. Some of us also got to spend extra time with family, either in person or over Zoom.
One interesting outcome of the pandemic was a massive boom in dog adoptions and purchases. When stay-at-home orders were issued across the U.S. in response to the pandemic, industry data from PetPoint showed that animal welfare organizations across the country saw a spike in adoptions. During March, the estimated national adoption rate rose from 58% to 85% by the end of the month. Shelters also saw an amazing increase in foster-turned-adopter figures. For example, at animal care centers of NYC, about 25 percent of the people who agreed to take in foster dogs temporarily at the start of the pandemic had adopted them permanently by late June. Usually, that foster-turned-adopter figure is around 10 percent. Breeders still have long waitlists for their limited supply and shelters are emptier than ever. Both have ramped up the application process to vet potential owners, which has resulted in a higher retention rate and better homes for dogs.
A whopping 73% of Millennials own pets, according to an American Pet Products Association, larger than any other age demographic. Researchers say that the recent trends toward delaying marriage and parenthood, as well as the demand for flexible work arrangements, are behind the higher demand for furry companions. One knock-on effect of all these “quarantiners” getting dogs is the need for yards for them to play in. Realtor.com stated that 89% of millennials who bought a home this year also reporting owning a pet. When young homebuyers were asked why they were buying their first home, the third most popular reason was needing space to keep a dog. This surprisingly ranked above children and marriage! More personal living space and the opportunity for building equity held the first and second spots, respectively.
Buying a house also eliminates the various restrictions and fees you may face when adopting or purchasing a pet. Many people like the ability to customize their home based on the needs of their pets, like adding a fence or dog door. In fact, over half of all animal owners (52% according to the NAR Animal House Report) undertook home renovations in 2017 to accommodate their pet!
The housing market has been very strong for reasons such as people needing additional space for home offices and accommodating homeschoolers. It sounds like the desire for a canine companion could boost home values even more.