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A window of opportunity to Brisbane 2032

The Brisbane 2032 Games will have significant benefits for the local economy, assessed as a 'two-decade window of opportunity for Queensland’ (Premiers Department, 2019). The Queensland Government in 2019 evaluated the economic impact at approximately $7.4 billion from a direct investment of $4.45 billion (Organising Committee costs). At that time, they stated it could create around 130,000 direct jobs and generate an uplift in international visitor expenditure of $20.2 billion between 2020 and 2036 (Premiers Department, 2019). After this assessment and in 2021, KPMG was appointed by the Department of Tourism, Innovation, and Sport to complete a preliminary economic, social and environmental analysis (KPMG, 2021), and they updated the assessed economic impact to up to $8.10 billion for Queensland but decreased the uplift in international visitor to only $850 million at the national level (KPMG, 2021).


One of the critical features of the Games bid is that the host city is not being burdened with creating a significant number of new venues. In a last-minute (surprise) decision, the Queensland Government did announce that the Gabba would be demolished, and a new stadium built in its. 'The Gabba' project will be in addition to the following recently announced developments:


·         Brisbane Olympic Village (Hamilton North Shore).

·         Brisbane Arena (Roma Street) to host swimming and water polo.

·         Indoor Sports Arena (Albion)

·         Gymnastics venue (Chandler).


When Sydney 2000 was announced in September 1993, Sydney, with a population of approximately 3.75 million, had direct foreign inbound investment into real estate and tourism sectors estimated at between $2 billion and $3 billion. In 1993-1994 it jumped suddenly to more than $7 billion and then stabilised and fluctuated through until 1998 where there was a doubling in the value of proposed development investment into Australia of $2.6 billion (FIRB, 1998), of which we estimate approximately 47% of the increase went to Sydney. At that time, Sydney's economy was worth about $95.15 billion (estimated at 25% of Australian GDP), so the increase in real estate investment represented 2.73% of Sydney's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This year was when Australia's major trading partners were struggling with the Asian economic and financial crisis. It is true to say that the foreign policy settings were favourable to encourage inbound investment. However, it remains the case that Australia has continued to support inbound investment. It remains a relatively easy and politically safe process for most foreign investors to get involved in Australian real estate investment and development markets. Brisbane’s economy is expected to grow to $231 billion by 2031 (Brisbane Economic Development Agency, 2021), so an additional 2%-3% could add up to an additional $6 billion to $7 billion in inbound investment to the South East (SE) Queensland local real estate and tourism development markets. Even a conservative view acknowledging the different types of cities that Brisbane and Sydney represent, and at 1% increase, would be a $2.31 billion increase in a construction sector worth approximately $3 billion in SE Queensland today and that without the Olympics might only be $4 billion in 10 years. On the basis that each project takes on average three years to complete, that would be a 20% increase in investment activity per year.


Since 1998 (two years out from the Sydney games), the real estate markets continued to grow exponentially, and to the surprise of many did not slump post-games but accelerated as Sydney 'grew up.' Some market analysts believe that its median house price grew by 88% over five years between 1997 and 2001. Such growth, was it to be achieved in Brisbane, would significantly impact strategic and rare inner-ring sites. It is too difficult to predict the magnitude of growth at this early stage, but the fundamentals support a hold and invest position. A downside risk is planning approvals – we are seeing a tightening of planning outcomes appearing over time however we note that Sydney with even harder planning outcomes has had the highest property growth record in Australia for the last two decades. Another downside risk is the construction sector lack of talented labour and trades available to capitalise on the inevitable construction boom that would follow the increased investment.


At this time, what is considered explicit is continued strong growth in inner-ring sites values that will be encouraged by ongoing and significant investment in infrastructure that improves transport, services, and liveability. These factors combined with previous Games’ experience mean there is the potential for exponential value growth in Brisbane property with only moderate downside risk over the next decade.

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