Trump Family Business Is Crashing As Brand Hits New Lows

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Prices for condos in Trump-branded buildings across the country have dramatically plummeted as the former president has continued to somehow further downgrade his own public image, a new report from the Associated Press explains. As the outlet puts it, “Bargain hunters are swooping in to take advantage of prices in Trump buildings that have dropped to levels not seen in over a decade, a crash brokers attribute to a combination of the former president’s polarizing image and the coronavirus pandemic.”

In one example cited in the article, a recently sold unit in New York that has a view of the Empire State Building went for almost $1 million less than what the seller originally spent on the space back in 2008. A review by the Associated Press “of more than 4,000 transactions over the past 15 years in 11 Trump-branded buildings in Chicago, Honolulu, Las Vegas and New York found prices for some condos and hotel rooms available for purchase have dropped by one-third or more,” the outlet says. In another example case, a unit at Trump’s Las Vegas building recently went for $160,500, which was $350,000 less than what the seller paid when originally obtaining it.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic and the concurrent slowdown in the hospitality industry certainly haven’t helped the situation, comparisons with similar properties reveal that the plummeting prices at Trump buildings seem uniquely dramatic. Condos across Trump’s Chicago property — which has figured in the ongoing criminal investigation of the Trump business by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance — fell in price by 34 percent across Trump’s single term. At 18 nearby luxury condo buildings that are around as old as the one emblazoned with Trump’s name, unit prices fell by just 6 percent across the same four-year period. That’s a substantial gap between those price decreases.

Gail Lissner, who works as a managing director at the consulting company Integra Realty Resources, shared those Chicago numbers with the Associated Press. There’s a similar discrepancy between the Trump brand and nearby buildings elsewhere — in Las Vegas, rates at Trump’s hotel have slipped by 4 percent since his 2017 inauguration, and while that’s less dramatic than the free-fall at the Chicago property, it’s a stark contrast to how nearby buildings have fared. Across that same time period, prices at “three dozen other hotels in the city that also sell condominiums and rooms rose” by 14 percent, the Associated Press reports.

The Associated Press notes that “the exact hit” to Trump from these plummeting prices is “hard to know.” If units are privately owned and privately sold, then that seemingly would not necessarily affect Trump’s profits — but the Trump company does own units at its Chicago and Las Vegas properties, and with the buildings’ plummeting prices, values of those units are “much less now,” the Associated Press notes.