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The Wellness Lifestyle is Spurring a Wellness Real Estate Trend


home for sale with wellness amenities to show  wellness lifestyle in real estateYou’ve probably followed real estate trends and maybe follow a wellness lifestyle, but are you aware of today’s wellness real estate trend? Developers believe the multibillion-dollar wellness industry is breathing new life into the real estate market, especially when it comes to high-end homes and estates. That’s nothing new for health-conscious Santa Barbara. One could say we started the trend!

READ: Santa Barbara Living: Testament to Why It’s a Top 100 City

There’s no doubt that real estate incorporating intentional wellness lifestyle elements is hugely popular. The reason? More people want to bring a healthy lifestyle into the places they spend the majority of their time. And the trend is rising quickly. In fact, the $134 billion wellness real estate market is now about 1.5% of the total annual global construction market, which is about half the size of the global green building industry. Today, there are more than 740 real estate developments that provide wellness amenities across 34 countries. And that number is growing at 6.4% annually since 2015.

Defining Wellness Lifestyle Real Estate

Wellness lifestyle real estate is defined as homes that are proactively designed and built to support the holistic health of their residents. These homes incorporate wellness amenities that can be rooted in a purpose-built physical space or cultivated around shared culture or social networks without purpose-built structures.

READ: Turn Your Home into a Self-Care Sanctuary

“In the face of longer lifespans, and rising chronic disease, stress and unhappiness, we only see growth for wellness ahead,” said Ophelia Yeung, senior research fellow, Global Wellness Institute, (GWI). “But the wellness market isn’t just growing, it’s extremely dynamic. We believe that the three sectors that represent the core spheres of life will see the strongest future growth – wellness real estate, workplace wellness, and wellness tourism – while other sectors will also grow as they support the integration of wellness into all aspects of daily life. And wellness markets will become less siloed and more interconnected, converging to offer solutions and experiences in the places where people live, work and travel.”

Consumers are Demanding Healthier Built Environments

A review of more than 220 academic, peer-reviewed, and independent studies found solid evidence that homebuyers are willing to pay more for wellness-enhancing features, including:

  • Proximity and easy access to high-quality natural and recreational amenities
    Today’s home sellers can receive price premiums of 3-12% if the property is located near some open space, greenbelts, and, in Santa Barbara, the beach. If the home you’re listing is near any conservation areas like the Douglass Family Preserve, you can expect 4-20% more. For those selling a home near parks and multi-use trails, that will mean an increase of 5-15%, especially if there are recreational programs and amenities within the community (e.g., fitness centers, swimming pools, golf courses, etc.).
  • New Urbanist features such as mixed-use, higher-density, transit-oriented, and traditional neighborhood design
    Homes situated near any of the above amenities can expect price premiums of 5-20% across the United States.
  • Neighborhood walkability
    Sellers can expect price premiums of $4,000-$34,000 for above-average walkability, or a 1% increase in home prices for every one-point increase in a neighborhood’s walkability score in the United States. Santa Barbara was among twelve communities recognized in the inaugural round of Walk Friendly Communities and is currently one of ten communities recognized at the Gold level. That’s because we have all the elements necessary for a livable community: wide downtown sidewalks covered with unique street furniture and artwork, paseos leading to shops and restaurants, vibrant neighborhoods, parks, schools, and a world-class beach promenade, to name a few. 
  • Sustainability features
    Price premiums of 1-10% can be expected for homes with green certification labels and energy-efficient features.
  • Healthy home features
    Recent surveys in the United States, United Kingdom, India, and China indicate strong consumer demand, with a range of 30% to nearly 90% of surveyed consumers indicating a willingness to pay extra for a healthier home.

Overall, as a strong real estate trend, the wellness real estate market is heavily concentrated in North America, Asia, and Europe. The United States, along with a few key countries in Asia and Europe, account for three-quarters of the industry. In the U.S. alone, GWI estimates that there are in excess of 1.3 million potential buyers each year for wellness-infused homes.

To capture that wellness lifestyle segment, upscale residential projects are adding certain wellness components that appeal to high-income buyers. We’re talking particular elements of the green/sustainable building movement, design-driven movements, the food movement, New Urbanism, intentional communities and others. These include amenities like open-air yoga studios, medicinal gardens with calming herbs, meditation courtyards, and even vitamin C-infused showers, to name a few.

READ: Sick Building Syndrome: Could Your Home be Making You Ill?

For most people, where we live represents our most important personal investment and one of our largest expenditures. That makes investing in our health and wellbeing a logical step forward.  The power of wellness lifestyle real estate lies in its potential to foster wellness communities. However, to do so requires a clear intention, along with supporting design and operational principles:

  • From “do no harm” to optimizing wellness
    Not only preventing sick buildings but intentionally building homes that help people enhance their health and well-being.
  • From passive to active wellness
    Encouraging proactive behaviors and habits that drive wellness.
  • From hardware to software
    Complementing bricks and mortar with policies, management, and programming that build social connections and nurture healthy behaviors.
  • From “me” to “we”
    Creating awareness that our individual health and well-being is intrinsically linked to our broader environment and the social fabric around us.

Have you incorporated a wellness lifestyle and any of these wellness real estate trends into your Santa Barbara home? If yes, I’d love to hear about it. Just give me a call at +1 805.886.9378 or email me at You can also contact me if you’re considering selling your Santa Barbara home. I’d be happy to add your property to my comprehensive website alongside the Montecito Hacienda-Style Estate pictured at the top of this blog. Perhaps you’re in the market to make a move. I can help there, too. I’ve earned a coveted place as a “Top 5” agent among Berkshire Hathaway’s 60,000 agents nationwide and am committed to excellence and, of course, wellness.


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