Wellness in residential property might be the next evolution in real estate. It appears that Australians are becoming increasingly aware of the environment’s effects on health, thus making wellness property very appealing.
As campaigns against environmental risks factors such as air, water, and soil pollution; chemical exposures; and climate change become mainstream worldwide, people are likewise becoming conscious of where their money is going, flexibility and work-life balance in workplaces, and recently, how and where they live.
According to the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), the global wellness residential property market will be worth around $262 billion by 2022 and that the trend is definitely in Australia, gathering momentum as the country sits on the third place in the world’s wellness real estate market.
GWI said, “The way our homes have been built in the last century is reinforcing lifestyles that make us sick, stressed, alienated and unhappy,” and claims that “Residential real estate is the next frontier that will be radically transformed by the wellness movement.”
Could this be true?
The growth of wellness residential property projects worldwide certainly seems strong.
What Is Wellness Real Estate?
But what is wellness property? The GWI defined wellness residential property as “homes that are proactively designed and built to support the holistic health of their residents”. They are building properties that foster ‘wellness communities’.
Wellness residential property promotes health and wellbeing and can include access to green spaces, good air quality, lighting, and wellness communities. They are also energy-efficient and close to public transport. In other words, it’s the perfect home to live in.
Worldwide Standard for Wellness Residential Property
There are in excess of 740 residential property projects in the pipeline worldwide, and the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) has developed the WELL Building Standard for wellness properties.
In order to assess how healthy and sustainable a building is, the IWBI measures residential property against 11 aspects. These are air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind, community, and innovation.
Compass sports and entertainment division national director Kofi Nartey believes wellness property could extend life expectancy. He told Forbes that having wellness features in homes is a “way to live longer and see even more of what the future has in store.”
Wellness Property in Australia
According to realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee, wellness real estate covers commercial and residential property because people are concerned not just in where they live but also where they work. She said that in Australia, the appeal of wellness property is growing and the attitude of property developers reflects that.
Australian property investors are aware of the trend and how the need to feel better in built environments is a factor for property buyers.
Conisbee maintains that the same is true for the office sector. Some of the major owners recognize the importance of wellness as evident in the way they partner with wellness operators that provide services like hot yoga, remedial massages, Zumba, oxygen chairs, meditation rooms, etc. She said that lunchtime yoga classes have become a standard offering for many office buildings.
Chairman of the Property Investment Professionals of Australia, Peter Koulizos, noted that property investors can benefit from the trend as rental income from energy-efficient buildings, for one, is typically higher than from old-style buildings because tenants know their electricity bills will be lower. Still, he is convinced the trend has yet to reach Australia.
Wellness Property: A Non-Existent Fad in Australia?
Property experts, including Koulizos, believe that though there might be an attraction for wellness commercial as well as residential property, there is no strong demand for such in Australia.
Even though Australian buyers understand the health hazards of pollution and other environmental wastes, there’s a doubt that most would be willing to pay a premium price especially with residential property affordability problems in the country.
The characteristics of a wellness property sound like a fad but people will always gravitate towards healthy living. So, whether Australians will be willing to pay premiums for wellness residential property for it to last long and well past being a fad, only time will tell.
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