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    Trump's name becomes a value destroyer

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    Price drop in luxury tower
    Trump's name becomes a value destroyer

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    Residents have had the former president's prominent name removed from some of Donald Trump's high-rise buildings in New York. This has had a positive effect on the value of their apartments.

    Donald Trump's properties represent quite ostentatious luxury. His name functioned as a marketing tool for years. He had it prominently displayed on his high-rise buildings in New York – but now the name has become a burden in the liberal city of millions. This is the result of an analysis by the “New York Times”.

    For many years, higher prices were paid for “Trump” apartments than for corresponding properties in other high-rise buildings. But that changed suddenly: In 2016, the prices for condominiums in Trump's buildings began to fall on average and to perform worse than the market in Manhattan.

    Trump became president in 2016 after a polarizing election campaign, and his time in the White House was no less polarizing. After his defeat in 2020, prices in Trump's New York real estate projects rose again, and the gap to comparable apartments even narrowed. But they are still trading at a significant discount.

    In the world of real estate, many associate the name “Trump” with luxurious living. In one of his buildings in Manhattan, a five-story waterfall flows down a marble wall. The trademark of another high-rise building: doormen wearing white gloves and large chandeliers in the entrance area. This represents the image that Trump paints of himself – an extremely rich man who enables a lavish lifestyle. What does not fit into the image is that a judge ordered Trump to pay hundreds of millions of dollars because his real estate conglomerate, the “Trump Organization,” had inflated its assets in order to obtain cheaper loans. “My client is worth hundreds of millions,” said one of Trump's lawyers. “Not to mention the brand, which is worth billions.”

    “Responsible for the decline in value”

    At least in Manhattan, the Trump brand is not glittering, as the New York Times analysis shows. The company compiled sales data from two real estate companies and had it analyzed by real estate economist Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh from Columbia University. The Trump name is not the only factor in price trends. The location, amenities and age of the apartments are also crucial.

    Trump condos have become “bargains” among the city's luxury apartments since 2016, according to the economist. This is even the case in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, the most important building in Trump's real estate empire. The average price per square meter of his condos there has fallen by 49 percent since 2013, according to one of the real estate companies that compiled the data. The age of the building and growing competition from the ultra-luxurious condos nearby have contributed to the price decline that began there before Trump's presidency. But Trump's image and numerous protests in front of the building have also dampened interest.

    In contrast, the value of condominiums in four buildings where the Trump logo was removed at the behest of residents – sometimes after a legal battle – has shot up again. “This analysis clearly shows that the Trump brand is responsible for the drop in value,” said economist Van Nieuwerburgh.

    Examining the price per square foot of condos in the seven Manhattan buildings that still bear the Trump name, the value fell 23 percent between 2013 and 2023. In contrast, the four buildings that removed the gold Trump logo saw a 9 percent increase in value over the 10 years from 2013 to 2023, outperforming the Manhattan condo market, which rose 8 percent over the same period.

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