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Wellness Communities Could Be The Next Big Real Estate Trend

To help combat issues like obesity, loneliness and depression, which plague many American urbanites today, developers are taking the latest health and wellness trends to the next level by creating wellness communities.

Wellness Communities Could Be The Next Big Real Estate Trend
Pinewood Forrest

In North America, the wellness community market is worth an estimated $52.5B, with an annual growth rate of 6.4%. Globally, it is valued at $134B and is expected to reach $180B by 2022, according to Fast Company. The purpose of these communities is to facilitate a stronger connection to nature and people, as well as encourage more physical activity, Fast Company reports.

Atlanta's 300-resident Serenbe community is one of the more popular communities in the country known for incorporating an organic farm, restaurants, a hotel, a spa, a bookstore and a farmers market within the complex. In addition, plenty of walking trails are lined with blueberry bushes to get people moving. Pinewood Forrest in Georgia focuses on connecting those in the arts community, and boasts buildings dedicated to professionals in the arts, media and entertainment industries.

Some of these wellness practices are also seeping into lower-income communities as a way to improve health in those neighborhoods. Via Verde, a mixed-income community in the South Bronx in New York, aims to improve the health and lives of its residents by using nontoxic materials in its buildings and installing community features like a rooftop garden.

While finding investors to fund the communities is an ongoing challenge — banks and financiers still prefer established models like golf courses — there is growing interest. An estimated 740 wellness communities are being developed around the world with another 1.5M million units either being built or planned for the next few decades.