John McGrath – What The Brisbane Olympics Will Do For Home Values
The 2032 Brisbane Olympics might still be 11 years away, but the impact on the property market will be seen much sooner. It will start in about 2025 when a vast range of infrastructure projects will be underway to get the city ready for the big event.
A unique aspect to these Olympics is that they won’t be held in one city alone. Rather, Olympic events and will be held in three Games zones – Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, as well as regional areas including Toowoomba, Townsville and Cairns.
This is fantastic because it means the economic benefits will be spread across many communities (and many local property markets!)
It means scores of suburbs are going to benefit from new infrastructure, new jobs, better public transport services, new sporting facilities and local road and streetscape upgrades.
It’s hard to quantify the direct effect of an Olympics on home values. Sydney had a major property boom after its Olympics but a lot of other factors contributed to that, including a strong economy, a decade of falling interest rates, the new 50% capital gains tax discount and the first ever First Home Owners’ Grant.
However, I can see a number of ways in which this next Olympics will benefit property.
A significant long term economic boost
The Queensland Government is aiming to create a 20-year economic boost from the Olympics. There is a plan to distribute the economic benefits over the 10 years prior to the games (2022-2032) and the 10 years after in the ‘legacy’ period (2032-2042).
KPMG research commissioned by the Queensland Government predicts the games will deliver $8.1 billion in economic benefits. When an economy does well, there are flow-on effects to property. The simple equation is, higher incomes equal people upgrading homes.
A multitude of infrastructure projects
Pretty much all new infrastructure benefits the property market. Australians love living close to amenities, including sporting facilities like playing courts, public pools and parks as well as world-class stadiums where they can attend NRL and AFL matches and international events.
Any significant improvement in lifestyle amenities raises home buyer appeal for the area.
More efficient public transport
CoreLogic says the biggest impact of this Olympics will be improved transport efficiency. This is especially relevant given Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast are three very interconnected economic hubs, with thousands of workers commuting between them every day.
A road trip south from Brisbane to the Gold Coast takes 56 minutes; and a trip the other way up north to the Sunshine Coast takes 82 minutes. Anything that reduces that travel time equates to boosted economic activity and an improved lifestyle for commuters.
A bunch of critical transport projects to improve movement within and between the three games zones are already underway, including the Cross River Rail in Brisbane City, stage 3 of the Gold Coast Light Rail and major upgrades to the M1 and Bruce Highway. An Olympics on the horizon will ensure they get done on time!
The Queensland Government’s official bid document says it will take athletes less than 20 minutes to travel from their villages to venues. For officials, the average travel time will be less than 30 minutes within Brisbane and 50 minutes across South East Queensland.
Major new housing precincts
Another huge benefit to this unique tri-zone plan is the need for two major athletes’ villages in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast, as well as several satellite villages in other areas. All of them will be converted into new residential and retail precincts post-games.
The Brisbane Olympic Village will be built on 40 hectares of prime waterfront government-owned land in Hamilton. It will comprise 16 medium-rise apartment blocks and retail spaces.
The Gold Coast Village will be in Robina, a growing urban centre where buyer demand is high. The 8-hectare government-owned site is adjacent to thriving Robina Town Centre.
Tens of thousands of new jobs
All of this new infrastructure means thousands of new jobs. KPMG modelling predicts this Olympics will directly create 91,600 new full time jobs to be filled by workers from all over Australia. Initially, that will mean a spike in rental demand, which will be great for landlords.
Many interstate workers moving to Queensland for long term jobs are likely to eventually buy a property to live in, which will mean boosted demand in the sales market.
The four weeks of the Olympics and Paralympics won’t do that much for home values. However, Airbnb landlords will do extremely well, and the global exposure for South East Queensland should boost tourism and foreign investment in the legacy years, too.
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