Consumer and Home Design Trends

NHTI Industry Pulse: $40K for a Gym Membership?

Anja Seng photo

Anja Seng

June 7, 2024

Welcome to a special preview of the New Home Trends Institute’s Industry Pulse Newsletter! This monthly series delves into industry trends, curating a collection of articles to keep you informed. We stay on top of what’s new and handpick the highlights so you don’t have to.

If you would like to continue receiving this newsletter, please opt-in here.

Equinox’s $40,000 gym membership is more than lunges and lifting. 

Source: Equinox

Equinox just announced a $40,000 annual gym membership that aims to help you live longer and feel better. The “Optimize by Equinox” plan includes over 100 biological lab tests, weekly personal training, nutrition coaching, sleep advice, and monthly massages to promote longevity.  

How does this relate to housing? Communities aren’t going as far as Equinox, but many continue to up their wellness game. Residents at Harvest Green in Richmond, TX, can take up to five free fitness classes a week and get 1-on-1 personal training and nutrition guidance to live their healthiest lives. Amblebrook, a 55+ master plan in Gettysburg, PA, partnered with WellSpan Health to make health screenings, pharmacy services, mind and body programs, and physical training a breeze.  

Honey, I shrunk the office… and the dining area… and the rest of the house, too. 

Source: Taylor Morrison

Homes are getting pricier and, therefore, smaller. Per Mikaela Arroyo in Yahoo Finance: “It’s entirely affordability driven… We are trying to figure out ways to make it realistic for consumers to purchase the house, and decreasing square footage is one of the ways to get there.” D.R. Horton’s average square footage was 1,980 in the most recent quarter, down -2% YOY. And they’re not the only ones.

Pickleball is more than a trendy sport; it’s the new dating app. 

Source: Stefano Giovannini / New York Post

Forget swiping right—NYC’s pickleball courts are now the ultimate dating scene for younger generations. Instead of hitting bars or logging onto apps, people are serving up love between points. Unlike tennis, pickleball often has you playing with strangers. Whether you’re seeking a date or just looking to mingle, it’s a great environment for socializing and making friends. Check out how developers like Minto Communities are weaving pickleball into the social fabric of their communities by also incorporating food and beverage.

Recession or not? The indicators say one thing, Americans say another 

Source: Sarah Grillo / Axios 

Over half of Americans believe the US is currently in a recession. The economy, as measured by GDP, is growing, and the S&P 500 is up. However, the mood is dampened by the cost of living, inflation, and figuring out who to trust for answers.

Our biannual Household Sentiment survey reports that 53% of consumers are pessimistic about the expected trajectory of the US economy over the next year. While this is down slightly from a year ago, it is still double the 26% who are optimistic¹. Are Americans mistaken, as indicated by Axios, or is this a sign of a “silent recession,” as other sources suggest?

¹ New Home Trends Institute by John Burns Research & Consulting, LLC, March 2024 survey of 1,265 homeowners and renters with a household income of $50,000+ (approximate income prior to retirement for retirees)

This is a special preview of the New Home Trends Institute’s Industry Pulse newsletter. To continue receiving this monthly email, please opt in here.

Building Market Intelligence™

Every week, we deliver analysis to over 40,000 subscribers with our Building Market Intelligence™ newsletter. Subscribe to our weekly BMI newsletters to stay current on pressing topics in the housing industry.

About The Author

Anja Seng photo
Anja Seng
Senior Research Analyst, Design
Anja assists in the production of monthly DesignLens features and manages the New Home Trends Institute (NHTI) Instagram account. Additional responsibilities include helping run New Home Trends Institute’s Master Plan Trends Council and designing external presentations.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about our services or if you would like to speak to one of our experts about we can help your business, please contact Client Relations at

Products and Services Mentioned

green check icon

Research Membership

Our research services enable our clients to gauge housing market conditions and better align their business and strategic investments in the housing industry. We provide a thoughtful and unique holistic approach of both quantitative and qualitative analysis to help clients make informed housing investment decisions.
green check icon

New Home Trends Institute

The New Home Trends Institute pairs design inspiration with exclusive insights into the “why” behind consumers’ housing choices. Gain exclusive insight into housing preferences and pain points through our monthly survey insights reports, webinars, and proprietary surveys of builders, architects, designers, and other industry professionals.
green check icon

Real Estate Consulting

Our experienced team of consultants helps clients make sound housing investment decisions. We thrive on their success and work with many clients over multiple years and numerous projects.

Latest Insights

NHTI Industry Pulse: $40K for a Gym Membership?
Dear Consultant: Can people still afford homes with high rates and increased inflation, or are they more likely to rent? 
Hillwood Communities and the Art and Science of Placemaking