Design Trends

Keep, Stop, Start: Homebuilding's Health Kick

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There are few places we see more divergence in strategy than in healthy home features. Just this month, we met with clients who believe it’s a no-brainer, ones who don’t see it as a priority, and ones who respond with the always popular, “but will people pay for it?” Whether you are all in, don’t think it’s essential, or reside somewhere in-between, here is what you should keep, stop, and start doing to score your slice of the (healthy home) pie.

Keep selling the benefits of improved indoor air quality.

Cleaner air is the healthy home feature that consumers “get,” so start there and build as your budget allows. It’s worth noting that the demand for whole-home air purification systems is on the rise and is likely to become an expectation rather than a perk.

Stop underestimating the mature consumer’s interest in health.

We often think of young adults as the trailblazers of healthy living, but mature adults are just as invested in taking care of their health: statistically speaking, they are now catching up with younger people when considering health in their housing choices. While Young Singles and Couples were twice as likely as mature ones to have prioritized health in their current home search (62% vs. 32%), the gap narrows quite a bit when we look at plans for their next home. In fact, 70% of Mature Singles and Couples are planning to prioritize health in their next home search, which is only 14 percentage points behind Young Singles and Couples (and about the same percentage as families).


Start prioritizing mental health to align with top consumer priorities.

Consumers understand that home air quality and materials impact their health. However, clean air and nontoxic materials are not their top health priorities. Instead, mental wellbeing is the most important health and wellness factor, even ranking above physical health factors, as predicted in our 23 Trends for 2023 report.  

This means that what consumers value most is the bigger picture beyond materials and systems. It starts with the layout and orientation of homes and communities. Features like green space, safe and attainable housing, and social connection should form the structural elements of your healthy home strategy. 

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