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Donald Trump has prevailed in the once highly contested Republican race to the White House. But his astonishing political ascent doesn’t seem to be having much of a positive or negative effect on the real estate bearing his name.
“There is no indication that Trump’s campaign has had any impact on the sales performance of Trump-named buildings in New York City,” Alan Lightfeldt, a data scientist at StreetEasy, told Mansion Global.
According to the real estate portal’s Trump Index, last updated through the end of April for Mansion Global, the median resale value of units in Trump-branded buildings in Manhattan has increased by just 0.2% since June 2015, when the presumptive Republican nominee began his presidential campaign.
The lack of impact could be due to the fact that Trump doesn’t own many of the buildings bearing his name, nor he is involved in those developments’ day-to-day operations, according to StreetEasy’s analysis. Additionally, buyers consider many factors when purchasing a multi-million dollar residence, such as location, apartment layout and amenities, which often overpower the weight of a brand.
By comparison, the median resale value in StreetEasy’s Non-Trump Index declined 4.4% from June 2015 to April 2016, while the firm’s overall Manhattan Price Index increased by 1.5% during the same period.
As of April, the median resale value of a Trump unit was almost $1.6 million compared with $2.6 million for a Non-Trump residence and $975,017 for Manhattan overall.
The difference in price growth between the Non-Trump versus the Trump indexes is likely due to the lower price point of the presidential hopeful’s metric, a segment that has seen stronger demand than the tier encompassed by the Non-Trump Index, although not as solid as Manhattan overall, explained StreetEasy.
While not reporting an actual decline, the Trump Index has seen its year-over-year price growth fall every month since June 2015, when the median resale value of residences with the Republican candidate’s brand stood at 10%. The cooling is a reflection of the overall recent slowdown of New York City’s luxury real estate market.
“Buyers are still allowing prices to grow because demand remains strong,” Lightfeldt said. “But supply at the top end of the market appears to have overshot demand and that is the softest area of the Manhattan market.”
According to StreetEasy, there are 180 Trump-named listings currently in New York City, from a $665,000 corner studio in Trump Palace to a 14-room $40 million apartment at Trump International Hotel & Tower. Out of those, 15 are under contract or pending.
Brett Miles, a sales agent with Douglas Elliman, has sold or rented several Trump-branded listings in the last years, most recently a two-bedroom condo at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, where the local businessman-turned-politician lives.
Miles hasn’t seen a real change in buyers’ attitudes towards Trump-named listings since Trump entered the presidential race other than a different energy around Trump Tower, which has become a magnet for reporters and paparazzi.
“No one really wants to come home to that or pay a premium to have people outside with cameras,” said Miles, adding that he has resorted to walking potential buyers to the side entrance of the tower to avoid paparazzi’s flashes. He also occasionally jokes around with his clients telling them that if Trump does get elected, they won’t have to worry about having him as a neighbor for four years.
Miles says that he has brought both local and foreign buyers to Trump buildings and as with any other listing, presents them with the pros and cons of the properties. Buyers, he says, recognize the value of a dwelling including—and beyond—its brand. He points out that the Trump brand carries an established prestige (service in the buildings is known to be top-notch), while adding that Trump units tend to take longer to sell, something he attributes to the increased competition from much newer developments in the city.
“Everyone wants bright and shiny,” he said.