Kelly Leighton

Last Updated: August 4, 2017 | View all posts by Kelly Leighton

Who knew adding a dog to the mix would lead more millennials to homeownership?

According to a recent survey from SunTrust Mortgage, one-third of millennials in the U.S. said they purchased their first home to have better space or more yard for a dog. Pups led to homeownership for millennials more so than marriage or a baby. Forty-two percent of millennials who have yet to purchase a home said their dog, or their desire to have one, will be a reason they buy a 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; homeownership takes some of the stress off by providing a better living situation.”

In addition to Fido, the largest percentage of millennials (66 percent) want more living space, which led them to purchase their first home, while 36 percent cited a desire to build equity. One-quarter of millennials said marriage was the key factor that led to purchasing their first home, while 19 percent said the birth of a child made them take the leap.

“Millennials are trending toward homeownership,” Smith added. “Demand among millennial-aged, first-time homebuyers is robust, and we expect them to continue adding strength to the housing market.”

Earlier, this year, NAR found that 61 percent of households either own a pet, or are planning to get one, while nearly one-third of pet owners have not put an offer on the house because it was less than ideal for their animal.