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Trump-branded condos underperform New York’s booming real-estate market

MarketWatch logo MarketWatch 3/13/2018 Jacob Passy
a close up of a building: A condo in Trump Tower is no longer a good investment thanks in part to the toll the presidency has had on Donald Trump’s public image. © Provided by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. A condo in Trump Tower is no longer a good investment thanks in part to the toll the presidency has had on Donald Trump’s public image.

The Trump brand is typically associated with luxury — but they’re not fetching the same prices as other Manhattan luxury condos.

In 2017, the average price per square foot was $1,741 for the 11 Trump-branded buildings located across Manhattan, according to a new report from CityRealty, a New York real-estate firm. That’s below current market values for most similar condos of the same caliber, it said.

Over the past 10 years, buildings bearing the Trump name have not seen the same level of appreciation as other condo developments. On a square-foot basis, prices have only risen 14% since 2007, versus 56% for luxury condos in Manhattan and 51% across all Manhattan condos.

And that $1,741 per square foot doesn’t compare well to other developments. Not only is that far less the average price per square foot for Manhattan luxury condos ($3,105), but it’s now also below the average across all condos in Manhattan ($1,864) regardless of “luxury” status.

Trump Parc, located at 106 Central Park South in New York, appears to have held its competitive market value in line with other buildings of its caliber, the report found. But it said it’s one notable exception. (The Trump Organization did not reply to request for comment.)

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How we got here: A history of U.S. steel wars before Trump President Trump is considering imposing steep tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, sparking fears of a trade war with China and other nations. But he is not the first U.S. President to impose tariffs and quotas on foreign steel.

The trends clearly point to the negative influence Trump’s political career has had on New York real estate bearing his name. “It’s not a good effect overall,” said Gabby Warshawer, director of research and communications at CityRealty. “Right now, if you look at the numbers and consider each building individually, they look like middle-of-the-road investments for Manhattan.”

Resident have caught on to the deleterious effect Trump appears to be having on developments that feature his name, the authors said. Case in point: The board of the 324-unit Trump Place located at 200 Riverside Boulevard in Manhattan filed a lawsuit in January seeking for permission to remove the president’s name from the building.

But it’s not just the political controversy and President Trump’s comments about women before the presidential election that caused the Trump association to hurt these building’s real-estate values, Warshawer said, noting the Secret Service presence and frequent protests as some building as other deterrents for buyers.

Another factor, unrelated to Trump’s public image, is age. Most of the buildings were built in the 1980s and 1990s — and now they’re having to compete with newer condo developments built in recent years. “There aren’t many buildings from that time period that are selling well relative to newer buildings,” Warshawer said.


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