Want to get that reluctant customer who has been "about to" buy a home for months a little push? If an analysis by the Urban Institute (UI) as reported in Freddie Mac's Homeownership blog is on target, your best marketing tool might be available at the local animal shelter.

Admittedly that is a bit of a stretch, but here's the rationale. Both the 2013 and the 2017 American Housing Surveys (AHS), asked respondents "would you need help with your pets in case of a disaster?"  Respondents had the option to say if they did not own a pet.  The question is obviously meant for planning purposes for communities as they prepare emergency plans, but UI looked at responses from a different perspective.

Freddie Mac says what UI found isn't too surprising. Pet ownership is at its highest when the head of household is in their 40s and married adults are more like (57 percent) than singles (43 percent) a pet of some kind.  But what gets more interesting is the difference between renters and homeowners.  No doubt the lease restrictions imposed by some landlords plays a role here, but homeowners were a full 20 percent more likely to own pets than renters, 57 percent compared to 37 percent.  Freddie Mac says it doubts that gap is a coincidence.

Realtor.com also reported that 80 percent of recent homebuyers owned pets. Did Fifi or Felix tip the decision toward buying?  Don't know, but such a gift might be worth a try.