Trump Tower apartments are not selling, and those that have sold in the last few months have done so at below-market prices. Now there are even more units on the market at Trump Tower with a record of 21 units available at this time, and many owners are being forced to attempt to rent their units out also at a lower than market price. Those looking to buy or rent at Trump Tower are turned off at the airport level security and the lack of privacy for all Trump Tower visitors and residents due to the presidency of Donald Trump, the building’s owner.
Ironically, the opposite is true with the Donald Trump property at Mar-a-Lago, Florida, which has upped the initiation fees from $100,000 to $200,000 since Donald Trump took office. Unlike Trump Tower, members of Mar-a-Lago have more than your average amount of privacy, and when Donald Trump is in the house, the benefit of Secret Service security. Jeff Greene, a member at Mar-a-Lago, says that it’s an unusual opportunity to pay a fee and be able to bend the president’s ear.
“It’s like going to Disneyland and knowing Mickey Mouse will be there all day long.”
Historian Doug Brinkley says that he had lunch at Mar-a-Lago last season and it was strange watching Trump hold court.
“Mar-a-Lago is an environment he can control. I watched him hold court — he was so comfortable in his own skin and so relaxed.”
But real estate agents aren’t having the same success at Trump Tower, according to sales data. Since Donald Trump took office, only five units have sold in Trump Tower. The average price per square foot at Trump Tower is now $2,100, which is down by 13 percent since 2016, and 23 percent since 2015. At this time, the median selling price at Trump Tower is the lowest it has been since 2007. For means of comparison, other properties in Midtown Manhattan are up 0.3% per square foot for 2017.
Kirk Henckels, the vice chairman of Stribling & Associates, says that the sales trouble at Trump Tower is obviously a direct result of Donald Trump being president.
“This is clearly a remarkable situation and obviously spurred by one resident being the president of the United States.”
The biggest problem for those selling and thinking of buying an apartment in Trump Tower is the inconvenience because, at that price point, people are not paying to be inconvenienced. Residents, as well as guests, have to submit to screening each time they enter the 664-foot Trump Tower. All bags have to go through an X-ray machine, and that includes the bags of people just stopping by the Trump Tower Starbucks on the second floor of the building. The entire block is closed to vehicular traffic, and large black SUVs (Secret Service and NYPD) are a constant outside of Trump Tower.
Even during the election, there were reports that the Trump real estate brand was being negatively affected by Donald Trump’s campaign, with Trump Tower, in particular, having sales troubles. But while many are saying that it is the security hassles that are driving buyers away, others are blaming the Trump rhetoric that is souring buyers on making a purchase in a Trump property. Brokers and real estate experts say that it is the dip in domestic buyers that is showing up in the statistics because the international buyers are not as concerned about Trump approval ratings or daily tweeting.
But oddly, a statement from a spokeswoman from the Trump organization refutes the statistic that has been accrued from neutral agencies by saying that Trump Tower and other Trump properties in Manhattan continue to lead the market. She calls the two years of sales reductions “market fluctuations.”
“Despite that, Trump buildings have continued to be a leader in average [price per square foot] against competitors. We cater to the most discerning buyers in the world, and while we can’t control the ebbs and flows of the market, we are incredibly proud of the overall performance that Trump properties continue to achieve.”
Why do you think apartments in Trump Tower aren’t selling? Would you want to live in Trump Tower?
[Featured Image by Andres Kudacki/AP Images]