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Major events and house prices

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

Major events and festivals can have a marked influence on house prices. The question is whether your house will be worth more or less.

I was intrigued to come across two newspaper articles in quick succession, one providing evidence that festivals hurt house prices, the second listing the breathtaking rents you can charge if you happen to live close to a major event. Looking more closely at the first article, this is based on a survey from Springbok Properties, who found property values around the UK’s 20 biggest festivals were increasing less rapidly than the national average.

The second article was more optimistic: even if your house might be appreciating slightly less rapidly, being close to a festival provides other money-making opportunities. For the Glastonbury Festival last month, local houses have been listed on Airbnb at up to £4,093 a night for a seven bedroom house. Even staying in a trailer close to the festival site will set you back over £600 a night. Not surprisingly, the possibility of earning vast sums by renting out your home during a major festival can have a positive impact on house prices.

The ability of major events to boost Airbnb earnings is a widespread phenomenon. Although Glastonbury spans the crown at over 200% increase in Airbnb prices, other major festivals such as EXIT Festival (146%) and Coachella (136%) also generate significant earnings for house owners. The Airbnb price hike is slightly less significant for the Eurovision Song Contest (89%) and Primavera Sound (53%).

If there is no festival close to you, then UK estate agent Savill’s is happy to give advice on How to run a music festival on your own land. If you can follow the advice and organise a successful event, it might generate some income as well as increasing the value of your house. However, as another estate agent commented ““Festivals draw huge crowds and these locations have record traffic passing through”, which might not only annoy your neighbours, but might also account for those areas where property prices fall as a result of festivals.

Sport events can also positively impact on house prices. The forthcoming Brisbane Olympics is already being touted as a major boost for the property market. A report (perhaps not surprisingly written by an estate agent) suggests that property prices “will boom before and after the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games”. Citing evidence from previous events, the report suggests a price hike of around 50% in the years running up to the Games, and continued high growth after that. This also seems logical in the light of the increases seen in the decades before the Brisbane G20 in 2014 (111%) and Expo ’88 (220%).

This sort of growth might be good for house owners (and estate agents), but maybe far less beneficial for locals who don’t own a house. Given the current debates about the negative effects of rising housing costs, major events might also need to think about affordable housing issues as well. Redeveloping the Olympic Village into post-Games housing in London did provide 1400 “affordable homes”, the only catch being that the rent could be up to 80% of market rates - far from affordable for many people.

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