Despite claims to the contrary, real estate prices for Olympic host cities don't experience a boom and bust cycle, according to a study by the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business.
The UBC study is the first to use real estate variables to test an Olympic Games' economic impact on host cities. Researchers analyzed housing prices and construction employment of local real estate markets in the U.S., Canada and Australia for the period from when a host city wins the Games to six years after the Olympics.
Tsur Somerville, lead author of the report said, "We do not find support for the argument of host city backers that the Olympics delivers positive economic benefits, nor of the arguments made by opponents that there is some post-Olympic bust."
The study examined the real estate prices for the host cities of Atlanta, L.A., Sydney, Australia, Calgary, Salt Lake City and Vancouver and found no statistically significant increase in the real estate prices of host cities that differed from the price increases of comparably similar cities that did not host an Olympic Games.
The most significant real estate-related impact is the increase in construction jobs. The study found that pre-Game construction employment grew by 1.7% in Sydney, 4.3% in Vancouver and 3.9% in Atlanta and Salt Lake City.
Jake Wetzel, co-author of the report and a member of the Canadian gold medal-winning rowing team in Beijing said, "While findings suggest no economic gains, the societal impact of valuing the Olympic ideals goes far beyond economics and politics." Jan, 2010
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