Demand for pet friendly homes more than doubles during pandemic

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  • Demand from tenants looking for pet friendly properties has increased by 120% over the past year, compared to total demand from tenants being up by 13%
  • Homes with a balcony have seen the second biggest rise in demand, up by 70%, while the need for parking is up by 48%, gardens are up by 39% and a property with all bills included is up by 38%

New data revealed today from the UK’s biggest property website Rightmove shows that demand for pet friendly rental properties has increased by 120% compared to last summer.

The significant increase in demand for a pet friendly rental property – measured by prospective tenants enquiring about properties via Rightmove – highlights the rise in pet ownership during the lockdown periods. The jump compares to total tenant demand rising by 13%.

The search for more outdoor space has led to demand for properties with a balcony increasing by 70%, and gardens are up by 39%. Parking has also increased in popularity (+48%), and one of the most common requests from renters, for all bills to be included, is up by 38%.

Feature in property listing  

Increase in demand July 2021 versus July 2020

Pet friendly +120%
Balcony +70%
Parking +48%
Garden +39%
Bills included +38%

What tenants want

Looking at the top ten search terms that prospective tenants use when they’re filtering properties using Rightmove’s keyword sort tool, terms related to pets are consistently ranked as the most popular:

Ten most popular terms used in Keyword Sort for renters
Pet friendly/pets allowed
Balcony
Garden
Furnished
Garage
Bills included
Parking
New build
Terrace
Ensuite

Rightmove’s Director of Property Data Tim Bannister says: “The rise in pet ownership during the lockdown periods has been well documented, and we’re seeing this translate to the rental market. Becoming a pet owner is a long-term commitment, so what’s really interesting to consider is the impact this could have on the rental market in the future, and it’s a signal to landlords that if they were to consider allowing a well-behaved pet then it may open them up to a bigger pool of potential tenants.”

Industry views

Ian Gibbs, Director of Neighbourhoods at Get Living, said: “Over the past year, we’ve seen residents and prospective residents’ priorities changing. More people are looking to convert their second bedroom into an office or gym space, and the need for outdoor space that arose in lockdown has maintained its crucial importance. We’ve also seen a substantial increase in people looking for a home that allows cats or dogs. Get Living became pet-friendly across all its neighbourhoods last summer, and one fifth of potential residents mention pets specifically as part of their requirements.”

Richard O’Neill, Managing Director at Romans Lettings, said: “There has certainly been an increase in demand for pet-friendly homes over the past year, which we attribute to the pandemic and a resultant shift in priorities. People, more generally, have been looking for bigger, family homes, and these demographics tend to enjoy the companionship of a pet living alongside them. Furthermore, where more people are spending more time in their homes and now have more space, it is likely that they are fulfilling past ambitions of owning a pet and now feel as though they have the environment and lifestyle to facilitate that.”

Rightmove

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