Talk Up That Nearby Gym - Real Estate, Updates, News & Tips

Talk Up That Nearby Gym

Some real estate pros are finding it's a benefit to highlight gyms near the condos or homes they’re selling, just like you might do for a good school. The gym impact to values may be especially pronounced in luxury apartments. The percentage of listings of luxury apartments that contained the words “gym,” “weight room,” or “workout studio” increased to 11 percent in January 2016 compared to only 7.4 percent in 2010, according to data from the real estate site Redfin. (Luxury properties were defined as those in the top 5 percent by sales price.) “A lot of the people I know who do CrossFit want to live near the gym because they either work crazy hours or because they are motivated people,” Lindsey Hatfield, a real estate professional in Pennsylvania, told MarketWatch. “They don’t have a lot of time. Living near the gym to cut down on commute time is one way to solve that.” Case in point: Developers for a Manhattan Lower East Side complex are crediting having a boutique studio of Equinox Fitness Club atop its condo development for boosting its sales. Once the fitness club opened in the building, developers say they saw a 21 percent spike in sales. Some real estate pros are calling it the “Equinox Effect,” which may be similar to the “Starbucks Effect” reported a few years ago. A past analysis had found a boost to home values within a quarter-mile of a Starbucks location compared to those homes not near a coffee shop. However, some housing experts are quick to say it may not be a gym or a coffee shop that is directly increasing home values but instead just the proximity to a commercial corridor in general, or high-end gyms and coffee houses that may be a sign a neighborhood is thriving. After all, consumers may just be willing to pay more to live in highly walkable communities. An increase in just one Walk Score point can increase the price of a home by an average of $3,250, according to research by Redfin. The study notes that a change in Walk Score from 60 to 80 increased a comparable home’s value in San Francisco by up to $187,630. “In terms of some of these boutique gyms like CrossFit, I think part of what’s really appealing besides that it is a gym, is they create a lot of community,” Hatfield says. “I come for the workout and they provide you with a sense of the community. Once you’re involved with that and you have your friends established, all your social life revolves around the gym, and people want to live near that.” Source: “Your CrossFit and Equinox Obsession Could be Helping to Boost Home Prices,” MarketWatch (March 20, 2017)

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