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Brisbane’s property market is booming for a plethora of reasons, from its affordability and lifestyle to infrastructure projects and population growth.
But many experts are also touting the recent confirmation that the city will host the Olympic Games in 2032 as a major driver of growth.
There may be a flow-on benefit from the Games to the Brisbane housing market overall, but it’s clear some areas will benefit significantly more than others.
A flurry of development and infrastructure projects – both new ones for Olympic events, as well as those already it the pipeline that will now be fast tracked – will help shape southeast Queensland’s future and transform pockets of Brisbane.
But investors be warned – the winning won’t be universal.
Cameron Kusher, executive manager of economic research at PropTrack, said property price growth resulting directly from the Olympics will be very area-specific and linked to new infrastructure that’s delivered over the coming decade.
“Watch out for the big infrastructure upgrade announcements, as those places close by will benefit most,” Mr Kusher said.
Peter Koulizos, Property Investment Professionals of Australia chairman, said studies on property markets in cities that have previously hosted the Olympics found growth is concentrated in areas where the new infrastructure is.
For example, research after the London Olympics found properties in the ‘host’ boroughs – in which there were Olympics venues and often subsequent gentrification – sold for up to 3% more than other areas, Mr Koulizos said.
A similar investigation found benefits were seen 5km away from the main Olympics stadium, with properties selling for up to 5% more, he said.
Meanwhile, another study into the impact of the Sydney Games on the residential property market found suburbs experienced substantially higher growth before the event was held.
That means property investors looking to capitalise on the upcoming Brisbane Olympics can’t buy just anywhere in the city and expect to see an uplift.
Purchases need to be targeted to those areas that will likely see more of a direct benefit.
So, where are they?
Inner Brisbane suburbs are the best bet for property investors
They key to finding Olympic boom suburbs is infrastructure, but just having a stadium near a home is not going to drive prices higher. Investors need more than that.
Experts agree that the suburbs set to benefit the most from the Brisbane Olympics in are those in the inner-city that already have a lot going for them, but which will have their liveability boosted by infrastructure projects.
Areas of Brisbane that are too far from Olympic venues and related infrastructure, including the transport nodes that service those venues, won’t feel any impact at all from the Olympics, either positively or negatively, Mr Koulizos said.
With the announcements made so far, these suburbs are likely to benefit, but there will likely be more to come over the next decade as more projects are confirmed.
Woolloongabba and surrounds
There is universal agreement that Woolloongabba, just 2km east of the Brisbane CBD, will be the biggest beneficiary of the Olympics, given it’s right in the middle of the action.
The famous ‘Gabba’ stadium is set for a $1 billion redevelopment to increase its capacity to 50,000 spectators.
It will serve as the main stadium for the Games, hosting the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the athletics.
Woolloongabba, which is already well-serviced by public transport and has a high level of amenity, is also central to the Cross River Rail project currently under construction.
A new pedestrian plaza bwill be built to link the stadium to the new train station.
Cross River Rail is a 10.2km route running from Dutton Park in the city’s inner-south to Bowen Hills in the inner-north.
“Woolloongabba is going through gentrification and urban renewal, and the Olympics will just be another boost,” Mr Koulizos said.
Suburbs surrounding Woolloongabba in Brisbane’s inner-east and south are also tipped to experience a lift, given their proximity to the new infrastructure.
Mr Koulizos said these include Fairfield, Annerley, West End, Highgate Hill and Yeronga.
“The suburbs I’ve picked have capital growth drivers already, whether they are proximity to the city or proximity to the river, and the fact that they are also close to Woolloongabba is an added bonus,” he said.
East Brisbane and Dutton Park will also be beneficiaries due to their proximity to Woolloongabba and the Cross River Rail project, according to Mr Kusher.
“A lot of these areas are inner-city so they already have a lot going for them, but the liveability is likely to greatly improve on the back of this project.”
Yeronga, Fairfield and Dutton Park will all have upgrades to their above ground train stations as part of the Cross River Rail project.
Yeronga and Yeerongpilly
Aside from being close to Woolloongabba, thereby benefiting from Cross River Rail and other transport upgrades, Yeronga and neighbouring Yeerongpilly are also tipped to benefit from their proximity to Tennyson.
That’s where the tennis will be held during the Olympics at the Queensland Tennis Centre.
Buyers’ agent Pete Wargent of BuyersBuyers said desirable streets in these suburbs would see growing housing demand as the tennis comes to town, urban regeneration continues, and Cross River Rail connects the south side of Brisbane to the Gabba and the city.
The Northshore Hamilton Priority Development Area is a 304ha precinct on the river at Hamilton, northeast of the Brisbane CBD.
It’s an urban renewal area being transformed into a vibrant mixed-use precinct and will also be the site for a 40ha Athletes’ Village for the Olympic Games, likely housing around two-thirds of the participants and officials.
That means development and infrastructure will be fast-tracked in the area, including transport and more apartment buildings.
A $650 million upgrade to Kingsford Smith Drive, improving access in the area, has recently finished.
While the area has potential, Mr Wargent said property investors should be careful about overpaying for apartments.
Those looking to invest should choose something with scarcity value, such as having a great view, rather than just a generic unit, as this would make a difference when it came time to sell, he said.
Buyers’ agent Wendy Russell also warned there could be a possible oversupply of unit accommodation in the area following the Games when the athletes leave.
“Think of what happened with the Commonwealth Games athletes’ village on the Gold Coast,” Ms Russell said. “It was largely dubbed ‘the ghost town’ post-Games.”
Bowen Hills and Albion
Cross River Rail will run from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills, delivering benefits to both Bowen Hills and neighbouring Albion.
The two suburbs have been in the midst of gentrification in recent years.
Bowen Hills is home to the existing Brisbane Showgrounds, which will host events during the Olympic Games.
Mr Wargent said Albion, a riverside suburb, was a location that had been more affordable than some surrounding suburbs but would benefit from improving infrastructure.
It will also benefit from proximity to Olympic facilities.
The Brisbane Indoor Sports Centre, the venue hosting the basketball during the Olympics, could be located in Albion or in nearby Herston, close to the Brisbane Showgrounds, Ballymore and Victoria Park, which will all host events.
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Vanessa De Groot, realestate.com.au, 14 February 2022