Despite Hawaii’s hot housing market, average sales prices plunge at Trump Tower Waikiki

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 5:41 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - During the 2019 tourism boom, condominiums at the Trump International Tower in Waikiki sold for an average of about $1.7 million.

Since then, average sales prices in the tower have fallen below $650,000 ― despite the hot housing market in the islands.

“At the same time this year, the overall market ― just resorts ― went up 27%. So Houston, we have a problem,” said real estate expert Ricky Cassiday.

Cassiday ran the numbers on the resales of condos at the Trump Tower for the past several years.

He suspects West Coast buyers, who have been buying resort condos at a rapid pace elsewhere in Hawaii, are largely avoiding the Trump property because they don’t like the former president.

“There might be a stink there attributed to the last year of him being in office and all the shenanigans combined,” said Cassiday.

“Certainly you’ve got to say that Trump has tarnished his own name.”

Similar price drops have been documented at properties in other markets that bear the Trump name.

Some Realtors, however, privately blame the big value drop on the Tower’s hefty maintenance fees and restrictive rules on short-term rentals to tourists.

But Cassiday said it is also because of the lack of Asian buyers during the pandemic.

He said many of the original buyers who paid $700 million to buy the units in 2009 were from Japan, China and Korea. But they’re not buying now because they can’t travel here.

Tourist experts don’t expect Japan to ease travel restrictions until after the Tokyo Olympics and that’s when you’ll start seeing an influx of Japanese visitors and investors.

Given that, Cassiday said the fire sales prices at the Trump are attractive.

“This is a great opportunity because the Japanese love Hawaii and I believe when they’re able to come here they’ll come back with even more desire to come back to Hawaii,” he said.

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