The 2020-2021 pandemic has acted as a near or complete brake and break, on many activities, behaviors, and ideas that prevailed before shots and masks and social distancing took precedence in the lives of many. It has been a time of prohibition, yet also, a time of rejuvenation, due in part of the ideas of wellness, rejuvenation, and regeneration that have taken the spotlight.
Concepts of wellness have been with us for many years, but in the past months, they have moved to more global, needful perspectives, touching industries, businesses, and manufacturing like never before. Just as the pandemic has transformed our worldview, so has it also allowed wellness in all its dimensionality to move forward –as a permanent solution, not a mere palliative, too many issues that have needed clarification and resolution for years.
The newest research from The Global Wellness Institute has shown this illuminative popularity, as seen primarily from the real estate and construction communities. On September 28, 2021, the nonprofit Global Wellness Institute (GWI), the leading research organization for the wellness industry, unveiled new data for the wellness real estate market revealing extraordinary recent growth.
The research revealed this sector grew 22% during the pandemic year, while overall construction projects shrank -2.5%; yet, wellness residential projects quickly tripled, from 740 worldwide in 2017 to over 2,300 today.
From 2017-2020, the global market grew 22% on average annually, expanding from $148 billion in 2017 to $225 billion in 2019 to $275 billion in 2020. Wellness residential projects increased substantially in those three years, from 740 projects in 2017 to over 2,300 today.
The new research also makes it clear the pandemic further fueled the shift in the real estate and construction industries toward wellness: from 2019-2020, wellness real estate continued to grow by over 22%, even as overall construction shrank by -2.5%.
The GWI was first to define and measure this sector in its 2018 Build Well to Live Well report. But now, the new report, Wellness Real Estate: Looking Beyond COVID-19, provides market data and growth rates for both 2017-2019 and 2019-2020, to capture “the pandemic effect” for every global region and the top 20 national markets—as well as forecasting key shifts that will define the market post-COVID.
Research highlights were presented at the GWI’s Wellness Real Estate & Communities Symposium in NYC, the first event to bring together investors, developers, architects, designers, and medical experts to discuss the bright future of this market.
“Just three years ago, wellness real estate was a concept not well understood by consumers, builders, developers or investors, but we predicted demand would soon hit like a tsunami. That moment has arrived,” said Ophelia Yeung, GWI senior research fellow. “The pandemic has driven the idea of ‘building for human health’ into the mainstream consumer consciousness, and the recent market growth far exceeded our predictions, as well as predictions for trends in general economic growth.”
The GWI defines wellness real estate as the construction of residential and commercial/institutional properties (including office, hospital, mixed-use/multifamily, medical, and leisure) that incorporate intentional wellness elements in their design, materials, and building, as well as their amenities, services and/or programming.
Many wellness real estate and community projects were discussed by the CEOs, PH.D’s and COOs — just a few of the groups at the symposium are mentioned below:
AMAALA Saudi Arabia
Amrit Ocean Resort and Residences – Florida
WEN Living San Jose Del Cabo. Mexico
Virtu Resorts Canada
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