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What the 2032 Olympic Games means for Brisbane’s property market

CoreLogic Asia Pacific research director Tim Lawless believes the 2032 Olympics should work as a positive influence on the Brisbane housing market.

However, with the Olympics still 11 years away, the flow-on effects are likely to be gradual.

Mr Lawless suggested the positive impacts will be centred around significant infrastructure upgrades and the associated medium-term uplift in jobs and longer-term improvements in transport efficiency.

“The most significant positive influence on the housing market is likely to be seen in the years leading up to the Games, rather than during the four weeks of the Olympic and Paralympic games themselves,” Mr Lawless said. 

“Large infrastructure projects tend to have a positive influence on housing prices, with the extra requirement for workers creating additional demand for housing during the construction process. 

“Large projects also tend to leave a legacy of a permanent housing demand uplift, either through additional employment or via other benefits such as improved transport options and travel efficiencies related to transport infrastructure projects.”

However, Brisbane has already been implementing new transport infrastructure over the past few years, far before the city was confirmed to host the Olympics.

Mr Lawless noted the pending Olympics were more likely to improve the quantity of public transport options available. There are currently only two trains per hour travelling to the Gold Coast, where one of the Olympic Villages is expected to be built.

“As more detail comes to light about where these projects will be located we should get a better understanding of the housing market opportunities,” he said.

“The obvious candidate for an uplift in demand is Woolloongabba and the surrounding suburbs. 

“The proposed billion-dollar overhaul of the Gabba stadium is set to be the epicentre of Olympic activity. Along with the Cross River Rail terminal and plaza (which has already started construction), this precinct is likely to see a lift in desirability.” 

The area is already popular with investors, with around two thirds of the housing stock in and around Woolloongabba being rented, according to CoreLogic.

The proximity of the Princess Alexandra Hospital and Mater Hospital provide a permanent level of localised housing demand, along with easy access to the Brisbane CBD, local universities and Southbank precincts. 

Currently, Woolloongabba unit prices are at the lower end of the inner south unit markets with a median unit value of $458,000; about $94,000 lower than Kangaroo Point’s median unit value, $85,500 lower than West End and $38,000 lower relative to South Brisbane.

“The lower price point combined with upcoming capital investment on infrastructure are likely to be a popular combination with investors and developers alike,” Mr Lawless said

Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) Chairman Peter Koulizos said Olympic Games often result in residential property prices improving in performance.

“A study on six host cities, from Los Angeles in 1984 to Sydney in 2000, suggests that the impact on the economy and residential property prices is not even. It depends on the planning and the scale of the Olympic investment,” Mr Koulizos said.  

“Research on the London Olympics showed that areas close to Olympic facilities increased in value by 2 per cent to 5 per cent higher than other areas. 

“An investigation on the impact of the Sydney Olympics on the residential property market found that the markets of host suburbs experienced substantially higher growth during the bidding and pre-Olympic periods, but not after the Olympics were held. 

“PIPA has conducted research into Sydney’s residential property prices pre- and post-Olympics that shows that from the time the announcement was made in September 1993 to the Olympics being held, Sydney was one of the best performing capital cities. However, post-Olympics, the rate of growth decreased significantly.”

PIPA’s research also indicated Southeast Queensland would benefit from the Olympic Games.

Other areas set to benefit would be the proposed sites for Olympic athlete villages, earmarked for Hamilton and Robina, along with areas set to benefit from transport infrastructure upgrades including the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast via upgrades to the M1 Pacific Motorway and Bruce Highway, which could be accelerated.

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