Olympics have no impact on real estate

Jan. 26, 2010 at 1:56 AM
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Cities that win Olympic bids experience neither boom nor bust in real estate prices but they get a boost in construction jobs, Canadian researchers say.

Lead author Tsur Somerville, a professor in real state estate at the University of British Columbia, and Jake Wetzel, a three-time Olympian and 2008 gold medalist, analyzed house prices and construction employment in the years leading up to and after the Olympics in Australian, Canadian and U.S. cities.

"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," Somerville said in a statement. "Our results conclusively demonstrate that while construction employment dramatically increases in the period prior to the Games, house prices are the same as they would be in the absence of the Games."

The study includes the Summer Olympics cities of Atlanta, Los Angeles and Sydney, and Winter Olympic cities of Calgary, Alberta, Salt Lake City and Vancouver, British Columbia.

While the findings suggest no economic gains, the games still present a very real opportunity to celebrate excellence, athleticism and human achievement, the researchers say.

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