The ‘Games Effect’

Hailed as Australia’s largest sporting event this decade, the Commonwealth Games were destined to shine the spotlight on the myriad attributes of the region and broader Queensland.

A recent Griffith University study suggests the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, which cost more than $2 billion to stage, will deliver Queensland a $4 billion economic windfall.

The 68-page report, co-authored by five academics specialising in tourism, accounting and finance, forecasts “the state and the country will benefit for years to come”.

 The report says the Games will result in billions of dollars in new public and private infrastructure and 670,000 extra tourists. It will help create 30,000 jobs and stimulate benefits for business years after the Games wrap up and the teams, officials, media and fans move on.

A $2 billion boost to the state’s gross domestic product is a key forecast in the report, which also tips $2.6 billion in public and private sector investment.

The Games have been a catalyst for projects such as the $420 million second stage of the Gold Coast light-rail linking to the heavy rail line at Helensvale, as well as upgrades to Pacific Far ($670 million), The Star hotel casino ($345 million), the Gold Coast Airport ($300 million) and various transport infrastructure improvements.

Then there’s specific Games infrastructure, including the $550 million athletes’ village, the $110 million Gold Coast Sport and Leisure Centre, the $40 million Gold Coast Aquatic Centre and the $40 million Coomera Indoor Sports Centre.

Around 16,000 full-time equivalent jobs are forecast to be generated before, during and after the Games, plus another 14,000 temporary positions.

But as for what impact the Games will have on Gold Coast real estate markets, business leaders, politicians and property luminaries have done their best to encourage investors and future residents to consider the GC as a viable seachange, but the flow on effect remains to be seen.

The Commonwealth Games provided a short-term boost for the real estate market in the latter part of 2017, with house prices on the Gold Coast rising by an impressive 6.4 percent over the December 2017 quarter.

The benefits for housing demand relate to the jobs created by the event and related construction work. There have been thousands of workers drawn to the Gold Coast for the construction jobs in the lead-up to the event.

But the risk of over-supply is the biggest killer of property markets across Australia including the Gold Coast.

Developers have built more high-rise unit projects, and larger projects, than ever before and pundits are divided as to whether demand will follow in the wake of the 11-day event that will change the face of our region forever, and hopefully for the better.

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