Wellness and lifestyle real estate are becoming solid industries that give traditional properties a run for their money. According to a recent research report, the wellness real estate market could exceed $242 billion by 2027, growing at an annual rate of 8.8%. Historically, wellness real estate has been more of a niche, and it did well only in affluent regions. These days, however, more and more real estate agents have wellness properties in their portfolio, and demand is getting higher, sometimes in surprising regions.
What’s more, the lines between residential, commercial, and wellness properties are starting to blur, to the point that we now see wellness features in just about any property. As analysts explain, wellness could mark the beginning of a paradigm shift in real estate, and early adopters will have the most to gain from this exciting trend.
The biggest players in wellness real estate
When we hear the word “wellness,” we typically think of properties such as spas, massage centers, and vacation retreats, and these are indeed quite lucrative. However, there’s more to wellness real estate than that. One of the most interesting real estate trends of 2020 was the gradual intersection between wellness and traditional properties. Basically, those properties that have seemingly nothing to do with wellness received a wellness upgrade, and that helps them stand out from competitors.
Apart from the more “obvious” examples of hotels and restaurants, a new and interesting addition includes casinos. It’s been a challenging year for brick-and-mortar casinos, which have had to close down for a few months. In the meantime, the popularity of online casinos where enthusiasts could play tragaperras increased, and people got used to that convenience. Some say that online casinos will soon overtake physical ones, so if the latter want to stay alive, they have to redefine the experience and offer guests something else. For example, the casinos that seem to the most resilient in this period are the ones located in resorts and that offer the full package: casino, restaurant, hotel, pool, spa, and more.
Slot games are increasing in popularity not only because they’re fun and exciting but also because casinos go the extra mile to enhance user experiences. For the future, it is estimated that most of the casino industry will move online, and the casinos that will continue to thrive in physical locations will be the ones that also offer wellness amenities.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t talk about gambling without mentioning its problematic side: gambling addiction. The market is also more mindful of it, and successful operators have addressed it. These days, operators that hope to become household names shouldn’t only focus on profit but also use this profit to ensure their players’ wellness. For example, many casinos now offer specialized resources to help tackle problem gambling or personalized life coaching sessions to help them gamble responsibly.
Wellness trends and amenities that redefine property standards
In a recent report, the Global Wellness Institute highlighted seven major trends that drive innovation in the wellness real estate industry, and these trends are all about putting comfort as the focal point of the design:
- Home, work, and leisure are no longer for separate properties. Instead, we can see wellness features in commercial properties.
- Health factors such as air quality are now in the spotlight, and they’re no longer reserved for affluent clients. Instead, developers are trying to introduce health-focused features as the standard.
- Building living communities for multiple generations.
- Adding wellness features to healthcare properties, such as parks and recreational centers in hospitals.
- Harnessing green, renewable resources are much as possible and offering eco-friendly alternatives.
- Adding smart features to homes and communities
- Reintroducing hot springs in the wellness experience
One might argue that the introduction of wellness features to real estate properties isn’t exactly new. But, while it may be true that properties have had wellness amenities for a long time, now is the first time that wellness features are becoming mainstream.
There are several reasons why this happened. First of all, there is increasingly high awareness of the importance of wellness, and people are beginning to realize that the place where we spend our time influences our health and mood. For example, one study from WHO showed that as much as 90% of our health issues are caused by where we live. Secondly, people have been spending more time at home, and they are trying to make their living spaces as much as possible. This goes against everything that was popular about a decade ago, where people purchased small, matchbox-like homes whose only benefit was that they were closed to work. In 2021, home is no longer just a place to sleep at night. It’s a place where you recharge your batteries and where you feel welcome. To achieve that, developers are including features such as:
- Humidifiers and air purification systems
- Gated communities and apartment complexes include on-site gym, yoga, and meditation facilities
- Designs that favor community connections
- Adding more greenery areas
Since these are all new trends, we do not have extensive studies on the effectiveness of these designs yet but, so far, feedback from small case studies is overwhelmingly positive. For example, in one residential area in Seattle that had air purification systems, asthmatic children showed a 66% drop in emergency care due to asthma symptoms.
Could such properties become the norm in the following years? This scenario might not be as unlikely as we think. Because 2020 has shown how important living spaces are and how much workplace health and wellness matter, we could see more effort from developers on this front. Of course, there will be impediments to mass adoption, especially in terms of pricing, but one thing is for sure: as a realtor, ignoring the potential of wellness features in your properties means missing out on many lucrative opportunities.