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  • Writer's pictureGregory Schumann

Residential Real Estate: Fitness & Wellness Programs by the Numbers

Worth $4.2 trillion, the Wellness Industry continues its rapid growth increasing 12.8% from 2015 to 2017. Many residential properties have turned to wellness programs to keep up with demand, and for good reason. Properties with fitness and wellness amenities are seeing significant payoffs while those who struggle to keep pace fall behind.

According to Forbes, fitness centers rank as the #1 amenity in three important categories. The first is for the budget conscious Renter. In the Philadelphia area, the average gym membership is $80 per month taken from a comparison of Edge Fitness, City Fitness, and Lifetime Athletic. Pair this with the findings that 46% of cancelled gym memberships are because of cost, it’s obvious why fitness centers are so important.

Conversely, fitness centers achieve the top spot for luxury conscious Renters. Many of the country’s most luxurious residential buildings home to the rich and famous sport fitness centers that rival elite level clubs. In New York, 15 Central Park West led the amenities arms race with its over-the-top 14,000 square fitness center, 2 sauna rooms, a spa treatment area, and 75-foot pool. Since this building first opened in 2008, high-end buildings across the country have followed suit. Home of many of the more fortunate - whether it be primary residence or vacation home - Miami has created a culture of fitness and wellness. L’Atelier Residences in Miami Beach matches everything from 15 Central Park then ups the ante with additional steam rooms and outdoor lap pools.

The third category fitness centers took the top spot is another obvious one, stay at home workers. The average Renter spends 67% of their time at home. Humans spend the vast majority of their time on two primary categories, sleeping (8.2hrs) and working (6.1hrs). Remote workers can add those working hours to the time spent home raising that percentage of 67 much higher. Convenient amenities at home are more necessary than ever.

The demand for fitness and wellness based amenities continues to grow pushing residential buildings to evolve from the dimly lit rooms with a handful of old-school strength machines and a wobbly treadmill to create mindful spaces that address all lifestyles. In the U.S. 80% of potential renters report they are interested in fitness and wellness programs with 76% of individuals saying they actively pursue a healthier lifestyle.

Of residents who attend fitness classes, 4 out of 5 are more likely to renew their lease. When asking renters the specifics of what they wanted 26.5% requested classes with live instructors. Only 7.6% expressed a sole interest in on demand virtual services with the remaining 22.9% asking for both.

It’s also easy to see the appeal to property management companies. Research shows that while fitness and wellness programs save Renters money, they more than deliver on their ROI. In Philadelphia, the average rent is $1,640. The average rent in a building with a fitness center is $2,015 making the difference $375. Exact premiums vary depending on the market but a consensus shows 46% of Renters mark fitness & wellness as the #1 amenity choice to spend a premium on.

Besides the data showing fitness & wellness amenities as the largest factors in tenant satisfaction, other societal trends show it will only intensify with time. With the trend of remote work increasing, senior living investing in wellness programs, and Millennials planning on renting forever; residential communities need to keep up with the corporate wellness trend or get left behind.


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