Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games and the Housing Market
Read time: 8.5 minutes
With Brisbane’s bid for the 2032 Olympic Games looking promising, now’s a great time to talk about how hosting the Games will impact local property markets.
Later this month at the Tokyo Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will meet to decide where the 2032 Summer Olympics will be hosted, and Brisbane is the front runner. Whether you’re excited to see the Games return to Australia, or worried about how the city will cope, the potential benefits are difficult to overlook.
The fact that 2032 is a decade away means now is the right time to begin thinking about your future homes and investments. In this article we’ll take a closer look at the Olympic projects that could reshape the city and its local property markets.
A snapshot of Brisbane
Brisbane has come a long way from when it was considered a sleepy country town. It’s now Australia’s third largest and fastest growing capital city, with around 3.8 million people living in South East Queensland.
Sometimes referred to as the 200 Kilometre City, Brisbane’s defining features are its low density and large footprint. While Brisbane CBD grows upwards every year, the suburbs and regions choose to spread outwards, and many of Brisbane’s fastest growing property markets are in outlying areas.
As house prices in the inner suburbs soar, buyers casting a wider net are finding affordable alternatives further from the CBD. Early plans for the 2032 Olympic Games would make Brisbane’s layout a key feature of the event’s design, and it could mean major improvements to the desirability and liveability of many suburbs.
A new look for the Olympic Games
Past Olympic Games have required the construction of large sporting complexes and athlete’s villages. In 2032, the IOC expects the Olympics to look a little different.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has been a huge hurdle for large-scale events. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were postponed, and even now they’re only going ahead with reduced crowd numbers. The IOC and the city of Brisbane have developed a vision for a more cost-effective and health-conscious version of the Games that is designed to consider their long-term legacy carefully.
The plan for Brisbane 2032 is to spread the sporting events across the wider region. That’s great for community health and safety, but it also means government spending on infrastructure and facilities is greatly reduced and takes advantage of projects already in the pipeline. For the housing market that means major rail, road, sporting and entertainment projects will be delivered sooner, which may affect property pricing and demand, especially in outer regions.
Upgrades to infrastructure
The single biggest upgrade to an Olympic city is the investment in local infrastructure, including road, rail, water, sewer and communications.
During the London Olympics an estimated 180,000 spectators attended events each day, totalling more than 20,000,000 journeys over 16 days. For Brisbane to accommodate similar numbers, major upgrades would be needed for local transport networks. In the vein of the new look Olympic Games, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says most of the required infrastructure is already part of the region’s 5-10 year project pipeline.
Here’s a snapshot of the major projects which could be completed or prioritised because of the 2032 Olympics:
- SEQ Fast Rail Project
- Cross River Rail Project
- Coomera Connector
- Centenary Bridge Duplication
- Australian NBN Upgrades
- Water Infrastructure Upgrades
- Roads and Footpaths Funding
New and updated sporting facilities
When you think of the Olympics you probably imagine the grand stadium which hosts the opening and closing ceremonies, but the Games require more venues than that. Brisbane’s bid includes extensive use of existing facilities across the region. “We already have 85% of the venues at the moment,” says Premier Palaszczuk.
Along with a handful of new complexes, existing venues will likely receive major upgrades in the run up to the Games, providing more sporting and entertainment precincts that could have an impact on where residents choose to build or buy.
The full list of new and upgraded venues will see a major boost to many of the South Easts’ large sporting facilities, including:
- A new Olympic Stadium at Albion Park
- A new Brisbane Indoor Sports Centre
- A new Chandler Indoor Sports Centre
- A new Whitewater Centre at Redlands
- A new Flatwater Centre at Larapinta
- Upgrades to Ipswich Stadium
- Upgrades to Brisbane Aquatic Centre
- Upgrades to Brisbane Entertainment Centre
- Upgrades to Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre
- Redevelopment for the Sunshine Coast Stadium
Increased housing supply
Part of Brisbane’s plan to spread the games across the region includes the use of two separate athlete’s villages. The main 14,000 bed facility will be constructed in Brisbane and the remaining athletes will be housed on the Gold Coast in existing hotels.
Designing athlete’s villages with a long-term legacy in mind is part of the IOC’s new vision. The purpose-built facility in Brisbane will be repurposed as apartments once the Games are over. With demand for apartments in Brisbane growing, the Olympic village could potentially cause a temporary slowdown for inner-city property as the developments become available for purchase.
Changes to job supply
The Games are expected to be a major win for the tourism sector. A study by The University of Queensland is predicting the state will see a revenue of $4.6 billion from the 16-day event. The long-term effects will be even greater, with the same study predicting 91,600 full time jobs will be created between 2022 and 2042 as a result of hosting the Olympics.
The availability of those new jobs in tourism and construction projects could cause major population shifts, leading to increased popularity in outer suburbs which previously had fewer employment opportunities.
Brisbane's Olympic legacy
There are no perfect ways to predict which Brisbane suburbs will see the biggest boost in the wake of the 2032 Olympic Games. And, as much as Brisbane’s bid for the Games is a sure thing, early plans are subject to change and some of the projects above may never take place.
With that said, major road and rail upgrades, boosts to the tourism industry and greater connection between the cities of South East Queensland are likely to cause property booms in Brisbane’s more regional areas. Already sources of significant population growth, reduced commute times and local job opportunities will generate interest and development in areas like Brisbane’s outer suburbs, the Gold Coast, Lockyer Valley and Moreton Bay regions.
If you’re looking for a home with the future in mind, then it’s worth considering the long-term impacts of the Olympic Games on the Greater Brisbane Region.
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