Reporter- San Francisco Business Times
If San Francisco gets the nod as the country’s candidate to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, boosters will jump on the potential benefits to the region’s infrastructure and housing stock.
But a sporting bonanza would likely bring just marginal perks for real estate growth in a region already considered one of the most valuable places in the world for builders and investors. Capital is already flowing into the Bay Area, so an Olympic bid wouldn’t result in much of a bump.
“That’s the crux of it,” said Constantine Kontokosta, an assistant professor of urban informatics at New York University who studied the Olympics’ impact on residential real estate in 2011. “Real estate effects are a result of other infrastructure benefits and quality of life improvements. In cities like San Francisco or New York or London or Chicago – really established places – it’s hard to see a net benefit on the real estate side.”
London’s home values around the Olympic Village jumped 30 percent in 2012 after it hosted the summer games, but that was only slightly higher than the country’s average overall, according to the Wall Street Journal. Atlanta, Los Angeles and Calgary all saw negative real estate impacts after they hosted the games, according to Kontokosta.
The U.S. Olympic Committee will decide Thursday afternoon whether San Francisco beats out Los Angeles, Boston and Washington, D.C. for a shot at the games. The International Olympic Committee would decide on the bid by 2017.
If the games don’t provide much help in meeting the region’s housing goals, it’s tough to see how the effort would be worth the headaches. Opponents of San Francisco’s bid have already said they will attempt to put a measure on the ballot that would bar officials from using public dollars for the Olympics, which in the past have consistently run tens of millions of dollars over budget.
Cory covers real estate and economic development.