THE RECENT announcement that Brisbane has a real possibility of hosting the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, being named as the preferred bidder by the International Olympic Committee, may have property investors wondering if they will find themselves on the winners’ podium if they buy in this city.
Should you rush in and buy, with the idea of capitalising on future growth?
The simple answer is that the Olympic Games shouldn’t be your only reason for buying. Hosting the event could benefit the city in many ways, which could flow through the property market, but it won’t directly drive prices up.
How will Brisbane benefit?
Under the ‘New Norm’ rules of the Olympic Games, cities that win the bid for the event should have the majority of venues already existing so white elephant stadiums that will likely never be used again don’t have to be built, and hosts can focus on ‘legacy’ projects such as public transport, instead.
This is the case for Brisbane, with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk saying the city already has 85% of the venues required for the Games, and events may not be restricted to Brisbane, but South East Queensland and even further afield in the state.
The masterplan for the Olympic Games’ bid proposed two athletes villages (one potentially at Hamilton North Shore) and a possible new stadium at Albion, as well as public transport projects.
It’s hoped that the opportunity to host will be used to bring forward infrastructure investment in Brisbane – particularly for rail and road – to cater for the city’s growing population, with the budget of $4.5 billion contributing to these projects.
This in itself will be a huge boost for Brisbane, making it more liveable and attractive. But another benefit of hosting the Games will be the economic boost through infrastructure projects, job creation and tourism.
The bottom line is that hosting the 2032 Olympics could really put Brisbane on the world stage, with the city to become instantly recognisable and a sought after destination to both travel and move to for a long time to come.
Will it lead to a property boom?
The benefits of hosting big sporting events such as the Commonwealth and Olympic Games can flow through to the property market, and in turn, give it a boost, but there isn’t evidence of a direct boost to the property market in a city hosting one of these massive sporting events.
Some studies show there is a boost in host cities’ housing markets in the years following the event being held, but it’s not conclusively due to the event itself.
“If Brisbane hosts, for many years there will be people saying ‘we want to go to Brisbane or South East Queensland, because that’s where the Olympic Games were held’, says Property Investment Professionals of Australia Chairman Peter Koulizos.
“It attracts tourists before, during and after the Games, which has got to be good for Queensland, but not to a level where you can say property markets are going to boom, because it hasn’t happened before.
“There are certainly a lot of good things, but to be able to drill down to say ‘these particular suburbs are going to do well’ is not possible – it doesn’t have that sort of benefit.
“The research doesn’t show that you should buy in a particular suburb because the stadium is next door and you’ll make money, for example.
“It’s wonderful and the Olympics will have a greater effect city wide, but it doesn’t impact property prices from a suburb level.
“It didn’t happen for the Olympic Games in Sydney, the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Melbourne or the Gold Coast, and globally that sort of thing doesn’t happen.”
The reality is that Brisbane is already starting to boom, which is part of an Australia-wide trend for the property prices. The city was also overdue for growth as it has matured in recent years with billions of dollars in infrastructure projects in the pipeline that will be transformational for the city, and has seen significant population growth.
The potential promise of hosting the Olympic Games in 2032 will just increase confidence in the city’s property market, and perhaps put the city on the radar for some investors, both locally and globally.
While the Olympics may draw investors to Brisbane to buy property, investors should always stick to the fundamentals when choosing cities to buy in, and where to purchase on a suburb level in those cities.
Always ensure there will be ongoing buyer and renter demand, and that it ticks all the boxes in terms of infrastructure, amenity, proximity to employment, and accessibility.
In Brisbane, the best opportunities are close to the city and close to the river, says Koulizos, where there will always be strong demand.
If you do end up buying Brisbane make sure you order a property depreciation schedule here.