While his dad is busy making headlines of a presidential proportion, Don Trump Jr. continues real estate business as usual in the Trump dynasty. The 33-year-old Trump, pictured at left, is often seen as a set of eyes and ears for his father on "The Apprentice." He took a few moments to tell AOL Real Estate his thoughts on the condo housing market.
Perhaps it's no surprise that Trump Jr. is bullish on New York, where the Trump Organization has a vast amount of real estate holdings. Condominium sales volume rose 30 percent in 2010, following a two-year decline, with the median sale price up 2.4 percent, to $1,075,000, according to Miller Samuel data. A $33.2 million sale at a Trump property set the year's record price per square foot, at $5,988.
In the high-end Manhattan market, condo buyers are increasingly demanding amenity-rich properties, Trump says. That's one reason Trump SoHo, for example, added high-end dining with a New York outpost of acclaimed South Beach eatery Quattro Gastronomia Italiana. The building also has a spa with Turkish hammams; a seasonal indoor-outdoor bar along the pool; a cocktail bar, and a library. Those are amenities one might expect in a hotel more than a condo building.
In fact, says Trump, condo-hotel hybrids like Trump SoHo are a big market driver. "Tourism in New York is exceedingly strong," he says, "and this bodes well for real-estate projects."
In a condo hotel, international buyers, frequent travelers and tourists looking for extended stays can enjoy a home base in the city without the hassles of traditional condo ownership. Condo boards typically prohibit apartment owners from renting for extended periods. That can be a problem--particularly in a down economy, when units languish on the market. (We wrote about what can happen to condo unit owners who can't sell in "Condo Sales Drop: What to Know Before You Buy.") A condo-hotel, which lets owners rent their units like hotel rooms when they're not in residence, avoids that problem.
Trump sees the uptick in New York condo activity as a good sign for the rest of the region. "New York City typically leads the market. It is the first to decline and the first to recover, with the surrounding markets in tow."
Watch the video below for more Trump family wisdom.
Sheree R. Curry, a three-time award-winning journalist who has covered real estate for six years, is seeking other writing opportunities as her AOL Real Estate contract is coming to a close at the end of April under the Huffington Post Media Group merger. Sheree's been writing for AOL Real Estate since 2009 from a Minneapolis suburb. During her 20-year career, her personal finance and business articles have appeared regularly in the Wall Street Journal, TV Week, and Fortune. Find Sheree at CurryMedia.com.
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