Why millennial mortgages are literally going to the dogs


More millennials are listing their dogs as the biggest factor in their home-buying decisions, behind marriage and children, a new survey says.

SunTrust Mortgages (NYSE:STI) found that one-third (33%) of millennials (ages 18 to 36) who purchased their first home, did so because it had a yard and better space for their dog. That percentage dropped off slightly at 25% for marriage and even less for kids at 19%.

"Millennials have strong bonds with their dogs, so it makes sense that their furry family members are driving home-buying decisions," Dorinda Smith, SunTrust Mortgage President and CEO said in a statement.

"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,” she adds.

Only two factors ranked higher than dog space, according to the report, which include more living space (66%) and the opportunity to build equity (36%).

Additionally, SunTrust found that 42% of millennials who have not yet purchased a home, are also motivated by their pets to buy something in the future, suggesting that dogs could be crucial in driving up future home sales.

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