Olympic Games in 2032 will turbocharge Queensland property sector

Brisbane’s Yeerongpilly Green development will be anchored by Woolworths with 1200 apartments.

From Cairns down the coast to Noosa and Surfers Paradise, Queenslanders have spent the past week rejoicing over Brisbane’s 2032 Olympic Games win. None more so than the real estate sector.

“Winning the Olympics is the beginning of a golden decade for Brisbane, southeast Queensland and Queensland in general,” said one of the state’s biggest property developers, Don O’Rorke, chief executive and chairman of Consolidated Property Group.

Mr O’Rorke is so confident of the Olympics effect that he pressed the button on more residential development in Brisbane less than 24 hours after the winning announcement was made at the Tokyo Games.

“We have already had accolades for our handling of Covid-19 and a second win with the Olympics makes people think this is the golden state,” said Mr O’Rorke, adding that 30,000 people migrated to Queensland last year.

“That is the equivalent of three country towns in one year,” he said. “To house all those people we need schools, houses, apartments … and a lot of those people might want to come to the southeast Queensland corner.”

“We have seen the Yeerongpilly Green project 6km from the Brisbane CBD get an immediate boost.”

Mr O’Rorke said sales in the riverside project, where one-bedroom apartments cost less than $500,000 and terrace homes are priced around $1.3m, had been strong.

“With the first stage of 100 apartments and terrace homes, the sales have really taken off this calendar year and we are expecting that trend to continue. We are bringing forward stock on that project because of demand.”

Yeerongpilly Green is a 10-year project by Consolidated Property and the Queensland government.

It will have a village heart anchored by a Woolworths and 1200 apartments developed over several stages.

Yeerongpilly Green development, Brisbane.

JLL Australia and New Zealand CEO Stephen Conry, a Queenslander, said the lead-up to hosting the 2032 games, and the event itself, would promote Brisbane and Australia prominently on the world stage. He said that the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018 gave great exposure to the region.

“The announcement … will contribute even more to our forecast and much needed population and economic growth,” he said.

Mr Conry said Brisbane received only 11 per cent of the total global commercial property investment capital into Australia, yet its population was 20 per cent of the country and economic contribution about 19 per cent.

“More global investment will feature in Brisbane’s future before and after the Olympic Games and the economic spin-off from that is vital,” said Mr Conry.

But not everyone is as enthusiastic.

In Brisbane, Hutchinson Builders chairman Scott Hutchinson said in the lead-up to the 2032 Olympics there would be even more construction work, but the question was how sensibly construction companies took the work on.

“If everyone goes nuts, when things get busy suppliers and subcontractors put up their prices, it will be dangerous,” he said.

“There’s some opportunity but you have to be careful. Builders (can) go bust in a boom as work comes off.

“There will be some good opportunities there but everyone has to be careful. Generally it’s good, and I don’t want to be too negative.” Mr Hutchinson said subcontractor prices and materials had been rising and he was “very glad (his private company) doesn’t have too much work in Sydney, apart from the Castle Towers development, a few schools, and a high-rise apartment tower in Bondi.

“You wouldn’t want seven or eight high rises in Sydney. (With the construction lockdown) you would find yourself in a bit of trouble,” said Mr Hutchinson, adding that half the decisions about locking down sectors such as the Sydney construction industry were pragmatic and “the other half are political”.

Yeerongpilly Green is a 10-year project by Consolidated Property and the Queensland government.

North of Brisbane, the mood is more buoyant. Visit Sunshine Coast chief executive Matt Stoeckel said the new Maroochydore CBD, which is under construction, would be the venue for the satellite athletes’ village.

“The Olympics announcement will provide massive impetus for its development,” he said. “Already major buildings have been constructed and restaurants and bars have opened there, and an international hotel is well under way. With the beach just a few streets away, there can’t be a better location for an athletes’ village.”

“The Olympics will turbocharge the Sunshine Coast’s economic development and with the new international-capacity runway at Sunshine Coast Airport there are excellent prospects for attracting additional hotel and tourism development aimed at both domestic and international travellers.”

Mr Stoeckel said the Tokyo announcement could not come at a better time. “While the current challenges are affecting all our operators, the fact that we will play an integral role in a world event of the magnitude of the Olympic Games should provide optimism.”