The first-ever Global Wellness Institute Wellness Real Estate and Communities Symposium was held on Sept. 28th in New York, US. Industry leaders gathered in person and online as Susie Ellis, Chair and CEO, welcomed experts to share their insight.
Latest research: ‘Sizing the Global Wellness Real Estate Economy: Looking Beyond COVID-19’.
- The global market nearly doubled in 3 years: $148 billion in 2017 to $275 billion in 2020. 22% annual growth.
- Wellness real estate continued growing even during a decline of 2.5% in overall construction during 2020.
- The pipeline now includes over 2300 projects around the world and wellness real estate is moving from a luxury to an expectation.
- Consumers are clearly willing to pay more for wellness real estate: 10-25% above the norm. There is currently a supply/demand gap!
For those at the luxury end of the spectrum, wellness tech is ever more present in the home: from smart mirrors to smart toilets. The younger generation, however, is often priced out of cities, but prioritizes wellness, working from home (or anywhere), and will power an entire segment of wellness real estate.
Paul Scialla, CEO of Delos Living, highlighted that up to 90% of our lives are typically spent indoors. Bringing together doctors and architects, the team reconsidered the built environment; the world’s largest asset class (real estate) combined with the world’s fastest-growing industry (wellness) proved to be an exciting and worthwhile venture!
Decades in the planning, the residences at Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico, aim to cater specifically to their demographic, primarily women. Considering air quality and seasonal allergens, water content and chlorine levels, etc. Alfredo Carvajal of Delos Living states, “we were advised by a consulting firm to lower prices by 50%, the project maintained the pricing structure and during the pandemic sold over 50 units, out of 112.” RLP also offers fractional ownership so residents can spend a portion of the year there without the cost of full ownership. Roberto Arjona, CEO, “focus on the purpose and create wellness real estate for the right reasons, the return on investment will follow.”
Joanna Frank, President & CEO, Center for Active Design stated, “The demand for healthy buildings no longer needs to be created, it must be provided for.” She added, “it’s now considered a risk if your real estate assets are not optimized for health.”
Veronica Shreibeis Smith, CEO of Vera Iconica posed the question, why should we reframe our assumptions of architecture? Moving people from routine to ritual, architects create the resident’s way of life. “Anything that is worth integrating into your daily life, deserves a physical space.”
Dr. Richard Carmona of Canyon Ranch reiterated that we all get to reprogram our genes by the choices we make in our everyday lives. The built environment is typically not optimum for our genes. From an epigenetic standpoint, we can see how this affects gene expression; the immune system works better when we are happy!
The latest trends:
- Immersion in nature and biophilia
- Indoor/outdoor living is now essential
- Advanced air and water filtration systems
- Residential developments with high-end spa facilities that rival luxury resorts
- Meditation rooms available in buildings
- Collaborative kitchens and communal juicing stations
- Wellness concierges connecting residents with providers
- Fractional ownership options for second home developments
- Public policy changes to encourage lower to middle-class wellness residential options
- Wellness real estate is clashing with sustainability; there will need to be some sacrifice and collaboration for design to become more sustainable.
By Sara Jones, Editor