Olympic Fever: Rental Real Estate Edition

Image courtesy of The Daily Mail

Today’s the day! The opening ceremonies will be broadcast tonight (click here for Universal TV’s full Olympic lineup), and we haven’t been this excited since we were watching a giant scroll unfurl in a Chinese stadium. But how have the Olympics affected the real estate, and rental real estate, landscape in London? Here’s a roundup straight from across the pond. (We’re really just writing this article so we can call apartments “flats.”)

So just how much do rents rise when the Olympics come to town?

According to Alex Johnson of The Independent, flats in Stratford (near the Olympic village) generally go for around £1,700 ($2,664) per month; but with the Olympics at hand, the average rent is now between £4,000 and £6,000 per week–that’s $9,400 for just seven days. Johnson reports that there are just about 300 apartments in Stratford open for “short lets” in that price range, as of Wednesday. Meanwhile, Stratford locals are thinking up all sorts of fun ways to make money during the next few weeks–one resident has turned her backyard shed “into a mini-sporting stadium where guests can stay for £40 per night.” There’s even a medal podium for photo ops! Check out The Independent’s Olympic property news roundup here.

That’s all well and good–but some Stratford property managers may have overestimated demand.

£6,000 is one thing–but £20,000 a month for a London flat is far different. And according to Jon McNeice of Belvoir Brentwood, some landlords decided to use the Olympics as a chance to send rents truly through the roof, hoping the demand would ensure a supply of guests with disposable income. “Some landlords have been asking for huge sums of money to rent their properties. One couple were asking for £9,000 a week and, although they were very confident this was achievable, their property is still unoccupied,” he told Property Wire this week. Read the whole story here.

But enough about the spectators. Where will the athletes be living?

The Olympic village is mysterious–what is it like to live for three weeks in a village chock-full of elite athletes? We’ll sit glued to our televisions, watching these athletes for hours–and yet, we never see where they live. That may be because where they live, it turns out, isn’t that glamorous. Olympic organizers have released photos of the Olympic village dorms, and while the bathrooms are nicer (do we recognize top shelf Ikea?), the bedrooms definitely leave something to be desired. We’re definitely getting college flashbacks from that coffee table and building facade. Red Solo cup, anyone?

Olympic villages are built for, well, the Olympics. So what happens to them afterwards?

Olympic villages are built to a fleeting purpose; but with all of that money invested in the area, it simply wouldn’t make sense to raze them when it’s all over. So what happens to all of those athlete apartments after the magic is over? In London, the village will be repurposed for practicality, and turned into affordable housing units. Nearly 6,000 people will fil the units in the current Olympic village, and other buildings will be repurposed into a school and medical facility. That’s all according to an article from ThinkProgress Economy–check out the full text here.

And that’s it from us until next week–rest assured we’ll have the Olympic theme music stuck in our heads (and our hearts) until then. Let the games begin!



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