Millennials list dogs more than marriage or children as a factor in making a home-buying decision, according to SunTrust Mortgage.
About 33% of millennials who purchased their first home say the desire to have a better space or yard for a dog influenced their decision to buy, while 25% cited marriage or an upcoming marriage as a motivator, and 19% cited the birth or expected birth of a child.
The desire for more living space and opportunity to build equity were the only two factors that outranked dogs as a reason millennials are purchasing their first homes.
"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, in a press release. "For those with dogs, renting can be more expensive and a hassle; homeownership takes some of the stress off by providing a better living situation."
About 42% of millennials who have never purchased a home cited having or wanting a dog as a key factor in their desire to purchase one in the future. This suggests dogs are also influencing purchase decisions of potential first-time homebuyers.
Millennial homeownership is on the rise, according to Chase. Customers under 35 made up 36% of Chase's mortgage origination volume last year, a figure up 16 percentage points from 2015.
"Demand among millennial-aged, first-time homebuyers is robust, and we expect them to continue adding strength to the housing market," said Smith.
About 44% of searches in the mortgage category in the first half of 2017 are for first-time buyer mortgages, according to Google.