Trump Is Even More Rich Than When He Left The White House, Despite Lawsuits, Commercial Real Estate Crisis

Zinger Key Points
  • Trump’s fortune has risen since he left the White House, in spite of a commercial real estate crisis and many legal troubles.
  • Some of his properties are proving resilient to real estate woes as he sees increased support ahead of the 2024 election.

Former President Donald Trump‘s net worth is on the rise despite court appearances, legal defense fees and a crisis in the real estate sector.

What Happened: According to a new valuation by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Trump's wealth currently stands at $3.1 billion: $500 million more than his worth when he left the White House in 2021.

But just last month, Trump was excluded from the Forbes 400, an annual list of America's wealthiest individuals, for 2023. His estimated net worth stood at $2.6 billion — a drop from the previous year's estimate of $3.2 billion.

The confusion around Trump's wealth, including the value of his assets, ties into a current civil fraud trial in New York. Trump, who testified earlier this week, could be on the hook for over $600 million, as per one of his former attorneys.

The State of New York made a valuation of the former president's assets, which were weighed with financial disclosures that Trump filed for the trial as well as other disclosures he filed as a requirement for presidential candidates. 

These were used along with other data points by Bloomberg to form a valuation on Trump's wealth which greatly differs from those mentioned above.

Why It Matters: With the presidential election one year ahead, Trump is harnessing newly-found support in several key swing states, putting the real estate magnate ahead of President Joe Biden in the most recent polls.

His increase in support could come in part from his many legal troubles, which are helping push a narrative of victimization for Trump, according to a former White House chief of staff.

Trump's key assets come in the form of real estate. According to Bloomberg, his most valuable asset is a building located at 1290 Ave of Americas, in Manhattan, which is reportedly worth $500 million. He also packs $425 million in 13 revenue-producing golf courses in the U.S. and Europe, $240 million from his current residency at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, and several other properties in New York and Florida valued above the $100 million, among other assets.

Mar-a-Lago was valued at $612 million by Trump himself, $240 million by Bloomberg and only $27 million by the State of New York on account of historic preservation laws which bar further development on the property.

Trump's wealth also seems paradoxical when looking at the broader picture.

Perhaps Trump isn’t paying legal fees out of pocket. He spent over $37 million in donor cash to pay 60 law firms and individual lawyers since 2022, as per records from the Federal Election Commission.

Real estate is also on a downward spiral. Decades-high mortgage rates caused the housing market to come to a standstill. And commercial real estate hit one of its worst historical crises with the advent of remote work.

WeWork, once the behemoth of shared office space, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday. Its liabilities are between $10 billion and $50 billion. Once valued at $47 billion, it has lost 98% of its share price since going public, manifesting as another symptom of a broader crisis in the commercial real estate market, where reduced lending is leading to a slowdown in construction.

In San Francisco, where nearly 30% of office space is vacant, office buildings are selling at below their mortgage values, as per reports by the Wall Street Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Several of Trump's buildings, especially large office towers in Manhattan, qualify as commercial real estate. Yet in spite of the difficulties facing these properties, other assets in the Trump estate are proving resilient.

His revenues from golf courses have risen over 50% since 2019, and his Florida properties, which also include the Trump National Doral Miami Golf Resort — valued by Bloomberg at $305 million — are experiencing positive revaluations as the state features the highest number of incoming residents in the country.

According to Axios, Florida's population rose by 463,000 residents from 2021 to 2022: a 2.1% increase, leading to a rise in property value since 2021 that has not yet caught up with a downward trend from states like Idaho, Washington and Nevada, where property prices are actually dropping.

Image made with Midjourney AI.

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