Wellness Communities & Real Estate Initiative

2023 Trends

The growth of wellness real estate and communities is one of the strongest wellness trends of 2023. The Initiative team breaks this overarching trend into six “mini-trends,” each an important factor in this wellness sector.

TREND 1: S for the Win!

ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance as investors look to non-financial factors to identify growth opportunities. The good news for the wellness economy: wellness is moving to the forefront of ESG and the S (social) is getting way more focus. With the built environment essential to the economic health of a region and the health of all who use it, real estate is having a profound social impact on communities. The financial world traditionally viewed ESG almost exclusively through the lens of materiality and impacts to a company’s financial performance. The very nature of social impact isn’t just about material risk; it’s also about prosocial behavior that positively impacts people’s lives, including their health and safety.

TREND 2: Wellness Is a Purchase Motivator and the Best Amenity Yet

Improving health and wellness takes top spot as the #1 purchase motivator for people of all ages. Wellness design, healthy home technologies, and active social infrastructure are now foundational for real estate developments. As awareness of wellbeing in the built environment grows, so does demand, in the places where we work, live and play.

TREND 3: The Wellness Tango: Design & Operation

Wellness real estate requires both intentional design and sustainable long-term operation. You can’t have one without the other. It starts by designing for wellness, including careful use of land, energy and materials. Its impact is sustained over time by unlocking partnerships, governance models and leveraging technology to ensure operating attainability and relevance over time.

TREND 4: Finally, Money Follows Wellness

Investors are embracing – and demanding – the inclusion of specific wellness design features and enhancements in many real estate projects, be they residential or commercial. The “green premium” and the “brown discount” widens as wellness real estate commands higher rental income and sales values and attracts more investment capital than real estate not proactively designed for wellness.

TREND 5: Future Proofing the Demand

Smart real estate developers and investors stay ahead of the curve. Future proofing a development that will come to market in five or seven years necessarily considers wellness impacts in the product offering and development strategy. Smart developers are embracing this at all scales from the smallest urban infill neighborhoods, to fully-integrated wellness centers and regionally-transformative wellness real estate that promote living longer as a place-driven benefit.

TREND 6: Sustainability Makes Room for Wellbeing

Over the last 30 years, the real estate industry has mostly focused on improving the buildings, the bricks and mortar. This has led to vast improvements in energy consumption, sustainability, life cycle and recently carbon reduction. Building on that foundation, the next 20 years will focus on wellbeing and wellness in our buildings and communities, developing the very adjacent and complementary health and happiness. A very happy cohabitation. Happy people in smart buildings