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‘98 WINTER GAMES EXPECTED TO HEAT UP REAL ESTATE MARKET BY BOOSTING ECONOMY

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This column is devoted to questions on real estate submitted by Deseret News readers to the Salt Lake Board of Realtors. If you have questions about real estate, write "Questions," c/o Debbie Cox, Salt Lake Board of Realtors, P.O. Box 9228, Salt Lake City, UT 84109.

Q: As we read about all of the controversy over hosting the Winter Olympics, we are still unsure as to how, if at all, this would affect the real estate market. After all, the Olympics will only last a couple of weeks and then what?A: Although some industries, such as construction and tourism, will be impacted more significantly than others, all industries will be positively affected. As income generated from one industry filters through the economic system, income will be spurred in other industries down the line. What this means is that all Utahns will reap the benefits of hosting the Winter Olympics to some degree.

Most Utahns are by now aware of the increased economic benefits generated through the construction and development of the facilities, as well as the media exposure and tourism. The governor's office estimates an increase of approximately $925 million as a result of hosting the Olympics. What I would like to address here, however, is how that relates to you, as a homeowner and possibly someone desiring to sell their home in the relatively near future.

As to how it will impact the real estate market, we must basically take a look at what will be happening here between now and the Olympics, as well as after the Olympics.

Immediately there will be an influx of job opportunities and increased spending for materials and supplies, as well as basic living expenses for the newly employed. Undoubtedly, the rental market will pick up at this time. Also, the added cash flow will boost the sagging economy substantially. Throughout this process, and through the Olympics, increased tourism also will generate additional job opportunities and similarly affect our economic cash flow.

After the Olympics, Utah will be left with facilities which will provide the opportunity for continued athlete training and development. Furthermore, Utah hopes to become known as the "Winter Sports Capital" to continue the tourism trade, maintain the increased number of jobs created and generate additional cash flow.

One further boost is the increased tax revenues the state will receive. Potential use for these additional funds is tremendous, as I am sure the educators of Utah would agree, along with many other agencies in need of funding.

The long and short of it is that more people presently living in Utah will be in a position to purchase a home. Additionally, it is hoped there will be an increased number of people moving into the state and a decreased number of people moving out of the state. This will definitely boost the real estate market.

To this end, the Salt Lake Board of Realtors is in favor of voting "yes" on the Olympics referendum in November.