Whether self-proclaimed real estate “mogul” Donald Trump is actually the tycoon he proclaims to be is up for debate. But according to a new report, people who have purchased apartments in Trump-developed condominiums haven’t done so well, at least not in the last few years when prices have skyrocketed.
A look by Realtor.com at transactions in the properties that carry the former president’s brand found the numbers to be decidedly underwhelming. Prices for the apartments in his buildings “have either declined or appreciated at a slower pace than the local markets they’re in,” according to the official listing site of the National Association of Realtors.
Citing data from the CoreLogic analytics firm, the study found that while the median price for condo sales between 2019 and 2022 rose 38%, the median at Trump-developed properties declined 14%. Not one of the properties the ex-president built outperformed the market where they are located.
The issue: Likely because of Trump’s multiple legal problems, the name no longer commands the prices they once did. In response, some buildings have taken steps to remove the Trump name from their marques in hopes of separating themselves from the Republican standard-bearer.
But at the same time, the report notes, the buildings, which are said to be some of the best managed in the Big Apple, are so old that they have a tough time competing with newer properties offering all the trimmings that come with more modern places. Trump hasn’t built anything in years in the city.
Take Manhattan: Since just prior to the pandemic, prices at Trump buildings have slid about 16%, according to the Realtor.com analysis. Over the same period, the value of all condos in the borough have risen roughly 11%.
In South Florida, owners of the condos he built have done better. They went up by about 15% between 2019 and 2022. But during the same period, prices in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties shot up 50%.
With the paucity of existing houses coming to the market, new construction has become largely the only game in town in many places throughout the country. And builders appear to have taken notice.
According to new data from the industry’s trade group, the share of builders who are reducing their prices has slipped every month since November. Now only 3 out of 10 are dropping their prices, and then only by 6%.
At the same time, the National Association of Home Builders reports that slightly more of its members have been using mortgage-rate buydowns, giveaways and other incentives to bolster sales of late. But at 54%, it’s still fewer than the 62% who were offering freebies and the like in December.
Whether this trend will hold remains to be seen. Mortgage rates, after all, have forced many a would-be buyer to the sidelines. But the limited resale inventory has increased demand for new houses. And as a result, builder optimism has grown.
Currently, the NAHB says, a third of unsold houses is new construction, compared to historical norms of a tad more than 10%.
More than 2.4 million taxpayers claimed at least one residential energy credit for the 2020 fiscal year, the most recent year for which data is available.
That’s far from the some 7 million who claimed an energy credit in 2010, but tax returns claiming the credit have been rising again since 2018. And in 2020, the Internal Revenue Service says nearly 9 out of 10 owners who claimed one had adjusted gross incomes of less than $200,000.
The tax credits were enacted by Congress in 2005, one for retrofitting and remodeling existing houses and another for installing alternative power sources in new and existing houses.
As in prior years, the most prevalent redo in 2020 was the installation of more efficient windows. People also switched out their water heaters, added insulation and changed their exterior doors. To a lesser degree, they also put on new roofs, which is the most expensive of all these upgrades.
Since 2012, nearly 3,000 houses a day have been built nationwide, according to a new analysis from Point2.
It’s hardly enough to keep up with demand, though. And the Point2 study says builders are losing ground, not gaining. (Full disclosure: Point2 in part of Yardi Systems, which also owns Multi-Housing News, a trade publication to which I contribute on a regular basis.)
The National Association of Home Builders says between 1.3-1.5 million new houses a year are needed to satisfy buyers. But the number of permits and construction starts took a downward turn last year.
The number of permits issued nationally crossed the 1-million mark in 2014 and has increased every year until 2022, when the first decline was recorded. The fall off was almost all for single-family houses. A permit indicates a plan to build. But it doesn’t mean much until dirt is finally turned: a start. And starts have followed the same trajectory as permits.
For what it’s worth, permits are far from evenly distributed, Point2 acknowledges. Three states -- Texas, Florida and California -- accounted for more than a third of the permits authorized last year.
Florida has recently outlawed foreign ownership of real estate. Some states prohibit foreigners from owning agricultural land; others block them from owning property around military installations while some deny ownership of any land. Some laws apply to all foreign governments, some to certain countries and some to foreign nationals.