Global Wellness research reveals sector grew 22% during pandemic year, while overall construction projects shrank -2.5%
New research on the wellness real estate market from the Global Wellness Institute was released at the at their inaugural Wellness Real Estate & Communities Symposium September 28. The report, “Wellness Real Estate: Looking Beyond COVID-19,” shows the global market for wellness real estate grew 22 percent on average annually from 2017 to 2020, expanding from $148 billion in 2017 to $225 billion in 2019 to $275 billion in 2020. Wellness residential projects skyrocketed in those three short years, from 740 in 2017 to over 2,300 today (built, partially built, or in development).
According to the report, the market surged in the two years before the pandemic (2017-2019): Wellness real estate grew 23% each year compared with 5.4% growth for construction overall (and this disconnect remained true for every global region). 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%.
“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 general economic growth trends.”
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.