Trump condo prices falling in Manhattan, report finds

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NEW YORK (AP) — In Manhattan, where Donald Trump built his empire, prices for condos in buildings bearing his gilded name are falling in the first year of his presidency.

The average price per square foot for condos sold in Trump-branded buildings in the borough fell 7 percent in the 12 months through November compared to the year earlier, according to a report Wednesday by research firm CityRealty. Prices dropped in eight of 11 Trump buildings.

The average price per square for all Manhattan condos also fell, but much less — just 1 percent.

CityRealty cited less allure for the Trump brand, overall, as well as competition from luxury condos in newer buildings. It was the first time since CityRealty began tracking such sales in 2003 that prices for Trump-branded condos have fallen below Manhattan averages.

"You can't say the Trump name doesn't matter at all," said Gabby Warshawer, research director at CityRealty.

The Trump Organization dismissed the findings.

"The entire luxury market in Manhattan has seen declines year over year with overall prices declining," it said in an emailed statement. "Despite that, Trump buildings have continued to be a leader in average price per square foot against competitors."

According to the CityRealty report , the Trump headquarters building on Fifth Avenue, called Trump Tower, took a big hit.

The owners of the five condos who sold in the past year got 11 percent less per square foot, the report said. The total price per condo was $2.4 million. That was down a steep 24 percent.

Trump Tower has been the scene of protests, and streets around the building are sometimes closed down. Security presence is heavy, which may have also hurt the building's appeal.

There were steeper prices drops in other buildings, but not as many condos were sold in the past year, possibly distorting the results. The price per square foot for condos at Trump International on Central Park West, another site of protests, fell 13 percent. There were two sales there.

At Trump-branded buildings overlooking the Hudson River farther to the West, there were more sales but the hit was less. The price per square foot at Trump Place at 220 Riverside Boulevard fell 3 percent. That building had 15 sales last year.

The president's company has had mixed results since Trump took over as president.

His Washington, D.C., hotel is booming as lobbyists and diplomats looking to curry favor with the administration book rooms and hold events there, but there are signs other businesses are suffering. Some of his golf courses have gotten hit hard as players stay away.

The drop in condo sales may have minimal direct impact on Trump businesses. Most of the hotels and residential towers with "Trump" above the entrance are owned by others who just license his name.

There are signs some owners are unhappy with the brand. The owners of the Trump SoHo hotel signed a deal last month to end their licensing relationship with the Trump Organization amid reports of sagging business. The owners of a Trump hotel in Panama are also trying to strip his name from a building in that country.

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