A third of millennial-aged Americans (ages 18 to 36) who purchased their first home (33%) say the desire to have a better space or yard for a dog influenced their decision to purchase their first home, according to a new survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of SunTrust Mortgage, a division of SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI).
Dogs ranked among the top three motivators for first-time home purchasers and were cited by more millennials than marriage/upcoming marriage, 25%, or the birth/expected birth of a child, 19%.
Only the desire for more living space, 66%, and the opportunity to build equity, 36%, were identified by more millennials as reasons they purchased their first home.
"Millennials have strong bonds with their dogs, so it makes sense that their furry family members are driving home-buying decisions," said Dorinda Smith, SunTrust Mortgage President and CEO. "For those with dogs, renting can be more expensive and a hassle; home ownership takes some of the stress off by providing a better living situation."
Among millennials who have never purchased a home, 42% say that their dog – or the desire to have one – is a key factor in their desire to buy a home in the future, suggesting dogs will also influence purchase decisions of potential first-time home buyers.
"Millennials are trending toward home ownership," Smith added. "Demand among millennial-aged, first-time home buyers is robust, and we expect them to continue adding strength to the housing market."