Politics aside, should you buy a Trump-branded condo?

By Lucy Cohen Blatter  | May 4, 2016 - 2:15PM

Love 'em or hate 'em, Trump's condos seem to be a decent investment.



jessica beck/Flickr

He may be one of the most polarizing political figures in recent memory, but what does Donald Trump mean for NYC condo owners?

According to Property Shark, the presumptive GOP presidential candidate's brand actually helps with resale value. In fact, the company found that condo owners in Trump buildings have seen their properties appreciate by a rate of 8.2 percent each year, "while owning a Manhattan condo that doesn’t come with the Trump brand gives them a 7.5 percent yearly increase."

So, which of Trump's properties reigns supreme, according to Propery Shark? The Trump International Hotel & Tower on Central Park West and Trump Tower at 721 Fifth Avenue, with a yearly appreciation rate of 13 percent. Trump Place, on Riverside Boulevard, saw the lowest level of appreciation at 5 percent—less than the Manhattan average.

While many of Trump's condos trump "average" NYC condos, they can't compete with some of the city's most illustrious buildings, according to Property Shark (don't tell The Donald, he might not believe it). Luxe apartments at 15 Central Park West, One Beacon Court and the Time Warner building—all neighbors of Trump-branded buildings—had higher yearly appreciation (24, 15 and 14 percent respectively).

What that means is that in a city like New York, where sky-high luxury buildings are mighty common, there isn't much of a "Trump" brand premium (also, keep in mind that many of the Trump buildings are on the older side at this point). In other places outside New York City, where these kinds of towers are scarce, the "premium" for shiny buildings might be more noticeable.

If we had to guess, we'd say the slight uptick in appreciation of the Trump buildings probably has more to do with their locations (many of the apartments come with river or park views).

Leonard Steinberg, president of Compass, says that "politics aside," Trump buildings are known for "strong management," as well. Apparently, they're also noted for high-end amenities, and tend to be popular in particular with Chinese buyers (who won't vote for or against Trump).

(Interestingly, a whole range of other sources we reached out to did not want to speak on the record on the subject.)

But the Trump name, Steinberg says, is not likely to make or break a New Yorker's decisions on where to buy. "When you get to a certain price point, there's a very long checklist: the quality of the apartments, the views, layouts, location, the quality of the building management," he explains. "A name can be part of it, but that's not enough alone." 


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