With the importance of health sharply brought into focus by Covid, many home buyers continue to place a greater emphasis on wellness in terms of lifestyle, location and the natural environment, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of Pam Golding Properties.
“While a desire for wellness, health and fitness is not a new trend but one which is rapidly gaining momentum, it is increasingly, widely recognised that connecting with our natural environment is an instinctive human imperative, as it positively contributes to our mental and physical wellbeing,” said Dr Andrew Golding.
According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 90% of our health outcomes are ultimately connected to the built environment in which we live, he said.
“Bringing nature into the indoors, maximising our exposure to natural light and optimising views of nature, and the use of natural materials and greenery in our homes all not only create visual appeal but also provide relief and balance from the ongoing stresses of modern life, creating a tranquil haven where one can relax and unwind,” said Dr Golding.
According to the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), wellness real estate was the fastest growing sector in the wellness economy in 2020, when it experienced explosive growth reaching $275bn.
SA, according to the GWI, ranked 28th out of 150 countries in the 2020 Global Wellness Economy Country Rankings. The GWI defines wellness as the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health, so the wellness economy includes industries which enable consumers to incorporate wellness activities and lifestyles into their daily lives.
Wellness-centric residential real estate has been powered by the pandemic and is experiencing robust growth. The market was valued at $148bn in 2017 and, according to GWI, is expected to jump to $460bn in 2023 and to reach $580bn in 2025. The GWI also estimates that the sales price premiums for wellness residential developments average between 10% and 25% over conventional residential developments. Apart from incorporating biophilic design into the architecture, such as in new-builds, wellness features may include fitness and spa centres, indoor and outdoor meditation areas, soothing water features, among others.
An idyllic off the grid eco-hideaway in The Crags, an area located just outside Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route, is a secluded getaway to escape to for total tranquillity and relaxation. Priced at R12.9m through Pam Golding Properties and set on 22.71ha, with an indigenous forest as your back yard, this property is ideal for creating your own peace-filled private sanctuary or yoga or wellness retreat, says Dr Golding.
The property is dubbed the Barefoot Palace by its current owners and offers a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle without sacrificing any modern comforts. The luxury Bali inspired design is further enhanced by the soothing Knysna forest backdrop, a floating yoga and meditation temple, an organic permaculture vegetable and fruit garden, as well as a swimming pool, koi ponds and dam. Added features of this two-bedroom country retreat include a water reservoir, two boreholes, irrigation system, solar system and battery room, cellular coverage, large art studio, outdoor shower, stables and paddocks, automatic gates and electric fence, staff quarters and workshop.