In a Luxury-Home Market Obsessed With Wellness, the ‘Shaman Is Another Level Altogether’ | Kanebridge News
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In a Luxury-Home Market Obsessed With Wellness, the ‘Shaman Is Another Level Altogether’

Mon, Mar 20, 2023 8:00amGrey Clock 5 min

Luxury concierges, expected to go to the ends of the Earth to satisfy residents, may have to tread even further in their latest role.

A new crop of luxury buildings looking for more creative ways to stand out and attract wellness-focused buyers is going beyond, the flashy fitness centres and spas to add meditation gardens, cold plunges or ice baths—and, yes, spiritual concierges, who connect residents with healers, therapists and a bevy of other experts to help with mental and emotional health.

Take the Maverick Chelsea in New York as an example. The building, in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighbourhood, saw residents start to move in November and is debuting three floors of wellness amenities this month such as a 60-foot-long indoor mosaic tiled pool with cabana seating. But the highlight may be the on-call spiritual concierge who residents can tap through the building’s programming partner LIVunLtd.

Maverick Chelsea’s head of sales Alex Lundqvist said that the concierge can connect homeowners with top aura readers, crystal and reiki healers and meditation teachers.

“We want to provide multiple ways to help people who are seeking spiritual realignment or guidance,” he said. “It’s something that’s increasingly valued today.”

One&Only Mandarina Private Homes, in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, also offers spiritual aid—a shaman to be exact who leads a traditional Mexican sage ceremony for interested buyers to bless their new homes.

Danielle Lepe, a San Francisco resident who works at Facebook, for one, bought a six-bedroom residence at the property with her husband and jumped at the chance. “I want any home of mine to have good energy, and I believed that a shaman could bring that in,” she said.

Ms. Lepe and her husband invited several friends to join them for the auspicious day, which she said saw clusters of hundreds of dragonflies circling the sky. The shaman saged the property inside and out, she said, and also blessed their expecting friend. “I am not at all a hippie-dippy type, and neither are our friends, but our spirits and souls felt nourished,” she said. “We felt an incredible sense of peace and that everything would be O.K.”

The development’s overall wellness amenities were a big reason why the property appealed to her and her husband, said Lepe. “It has the best breathwork and fitness classes that we fully take advantage of, but the shaman is another level altogether,” she said.

These more unusual perks of buying a residence in an upscale building are no surprise, according to Beth McGroarty, the research director for the Global Wellness Institute, a Miami-based nonprofit that promotes wellness. This is because wellness-centric residential real estate has been powered by the pandemic and is seeing a rapid rise. According to the group’s data, the market was valued at $148 billion in 2017. This year, it’s projected to jump to $460 billion, and by 2025, $580 billion.

“Wellness in real estate today means everything that you would find at a cutting-edge wellness centre,” Ms. McGroarty said. “It’s also a lot more holistic and emphasises emotional and spiritual health because buyers want help in this realm, especially after the pandemic.”

Mikaela Arroyo, the director of the New Home Trends Institute at California-headquartered John Burns Real Estate Consulting, agreed. “We surveyed homeowners and renters last November, and the majority responded that mental well-being was more paramount than physical health and their top priority when seeking a new property,” she said.

Wellness amenities at Brookly Point, a luxury residence in Brooklyn, New York. Brooklyn Point

Some of the latest spa amenities also blur the line between physical and mental wellness.

A trendy amenity that’s designed to shock, all in the name of health of course, is the ice bath, where residents—as the name suggests—literally take a bath, if only for a second, in a tub filled with ice. Cold plunges are another twist on the concept and claim to have a similar effect. Cold therapy is touted as a cure all for everything from inflammation and sore muscles to improving mental health.

Fiction or fact aside, extreme temperature plunges and baths are catching on.

The Renaissance Residences Honolulu and Four Seasons Private Residences Lake Austin both have cold plunge baths. It’s also a feature at Brooklyn Point in downtown Brooklyn, according to Ryan Serhant, who is leading the sales and marketing for the building.

An exterior rendering of Cipriani Residences Miami, located in the Brickell neighbourhood and slated for completion in 2026. The Boundary

“This is a development that has been designed around the story of wellness, and the three levels of amenities include a rock-climbing wall, two pools plus this cold plunge pool,” he said.

Cipriani Residences Miami, located in the Brickell neighbourhood and slated for completion in 2026, is playing up the ice bath that will be part of its wet room. Michael Patrizio, the managing director for the project’s developer Mast Capital, said that the bath will be between 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit and next to the sauna so that residents can move from hot to cold or vice versa setting quickly. “We’re trying to be ahead of the market with what we give our owners, and this bath is definitely a way,” he said.

Picturesque meditation gardens are another fresh perk that developments have at the ready to help buyers find calmness. “Our research has found that a connection with nature is important to home buyers today as a way for them to destress and reconnect with themselves,” said Ms. Arroyo. “Meditation gardens in the wake of this couldn’t be more opportune.”

At 212 West 72nd St., on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, for example, there’s an interior courtyard garden on its third-floor amenity level that’s meant to be used for yoga and meditation. It’s accessible from the fitness centre and features a wooden pergola that’s draped in florals.

Rendering of the meditation garden at The Perigon, a luxury new development in Miami Beach. Binyan Studios

The Perigon, located in Miami Beach and debuting in 2025, is a luxury condominium tower with a meditation garden designed by Gustafson Porter + Bowman, the London landscape architecture firm behind the redesign of the Eiffel Tower’s green spaces and the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park.

Neil Porter, the architect who led the project, said that his vision was to create a secluded space for owners within the larger gardens that’s away from the activity of the beach. The long, linear area is flanked by a water channel, said Mr. Porter, that has pods constructed of timber which residents can sit on as they self reflect. Other elements include seating alcoves on solid ground and an abundance of lush plants and flowers such as lilies and irises. “The pods resemble floating islands,” Mr. Porter said, “and the garden is meant to be a place for a tranquil escape.”

This article originally appeared on Mansion Global.


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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RBA Governor explains the rate rises we had to have
RBA Governor explains the rate rises we had to have

Philip Lowe’s comments come amid property industry concerns about pressures on mortgage holders and rising rents

Wed, Jun 7, 2023 2 min

Leaders in Australia’s property industry are calling on the RBA to hit the pause button on further interest rate rises following yesterday’s announcement to raise the cash rate to 4.1 percent.

CEO of the REINSW, Tim McKibbin, said it was time to let the 12 interest rate rises since May last year take effect.

“The REINSW would like to see the RBA hit pause and allow the 12 rate rises to date work their way through the economy. Property prices have rebounded because of supply and demand. I think that will continue with the rate rise,” said Mr McKibbin.  

The Real Estate Institute of Australia  today released its Housing Affordability Report for the March 2023 quarter which showed that in NSW, the proportion of family income required to meet the average loan repayments has risen to 55 percent, up from 44.5 percent a year ago.

Chief economist at Ray White, Nerida Conisbee, said while this latest increase would probably not push Australia into a recession, it had major implications for the housing market and the needs of ordinary Australians.

“As more countries head into recession, at this point, it does look like the RBA’s “narrow path” will get us through while taming inflation,” she said. 

“In the meantime however, it is creating a headache for renters, buyers and new housing supply that is going to take many years to resolve. 

“And every interest rate rise is extending that pain.”

In a speech to guests at Morgan Stanley’s Australia Summit released today, Governor Philip Lowe addressed the RBA board’s ‘narrow path’ approach, navigating continued economic growth while pushing inflation from its current level of 6.8 percent down to a more acceptable level of 2 to 3 percent.

“It is still possible to navigate this path and our ambition is to do so,” Mr Lowe said. “But it is a narrow path and likely to be a bumpy one, with risks on both sides.”

However, he said the alternative is persistent high inflation, which would do the national economy more damage in the longer term.

“If inflation stays high for too long, it will become ingrained in people’s expectations and high inflation will then be self-perpetuating,” he said. “As the historical experiences shows, the inevitable result of this would be even higher interest rates and, at some point, a larger increase in unemployment to get rid of the ingrained inflation. 

“The Board’s priority is to do what it can to avoid this.”

While acknowledging that another rate rise would adversely affect many households, Mr Lowe said it was unavoidable if inflation was to be tamed.

“It is certainly true that if the Board had not lifted interest rates as it has done, some households would have avoided, for a short period, the financial pressures that come with higher mortgage rates,” he said. 

“But this short-term gain would have been at a much higher medium-term cost. If we had not tightened monetary policy, the cost of living would be higher for longer. This would hurt all Australians and the functioning of our economy and would ultimately require even higher interest rates to bring inflation back down. 

“So, as difficult as it is, the rise in interest rates is necessary to bring inflation back to target in a reasonable timeframe.”


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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