This is how presidential elections really affect home sales

Presidential elections affect the residential sales market significantly (Credit: Getty Images, The White House)

Presidential elections affect the residential sales market significantly (Credit: Getty Images, The White House)

Who will be president come January? It’s the biggest question of the year — and a thorn in the side of brokers, who regard uncertainty as an enemy of sales.

“Election years are always the toughest years because people are hesitant,” said Stephen Kliegerman of Halstead Property Development Marketing. “They’re waiting to see an outcome.”

But do elections really influence the market?

Yes, according to a data analysis produced for The Real Deal by Miller Samuel CEO Jonathan Miller, who examined co-op sales in New York City between 2008 and 2019.

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The analysis found that sales between June and October are as much as 12.7 percent weaker in presidential election years than non-election years, until they recover in November and December to levels seen in the beginning of the year.

It is impossible to pinpoint the influence of an election, given all the other factors at play — Barack Obama was elected in the midst of the nation’s worst economic downturn in 80 years, for example — but the analysis found election cycles consistently coincided with declines in sales, then upticks after the election, regardless of who wins.

“Anecdotally, I’ve seen this for decades,” Miller said. “I recalled seeing it beginning with the financial crisis.” This was the first time he had tested the trend using data.

To conduct the analysis, Miller first measured the average period between contract signings and closing dates for co-op purchases over the past seven years, and found it to be 90 days.

He then counted back 90 days from all the co-op closing dates he had collated, to create a picture of contract signings between 2008 and late 2019. (Miller excluded condos because the periods between contracts and closing in new developments can vary widely.)

The results compared the three presidential election years to the other eight years. From June through October in election years, sales grew progressively weaker compared with non-election years. The biggest difference was in September, when sales volume was 12.7% lower.

As the presidency is decided, buyers appear to regain confidence and return to the market. “Beginning in November during an election year, sales overpower their non-election year counterpart, with the release of pent-up demand occurring well into the spring,” Miller said.

In a separate analysis, he found that sales volume was higher between January and May in non-election years, then reversed course in the second half of the year. The studies looked at the number of sales, not at prices.

The residential market is no stranger to political instability. In recent years, a trade war with China, Albany’s rent reforms and the impeachment of President Donald Trump have all played out on the backdrop of a luxury sector in crisis.

Global politics have also played a role: Capital controls established by the Chinese government are widely blamed for a significant decline in Chinese investors in New York City.

This week, legal arguments at the impeachment trial wrapped up, with a conviction looking out of reach for Democrats. At the same time, Iowans gathered to select their choice for the Democratic nomination in an eagerly anticipated caucus.

For many Americans — especially brokers — November cannot come soon enough.

Write to Sylvia Varnham O’Regan at [email protected]

Trump Org blasts NYC mayor for criminal referral of tax findings

Mayor Bill de Blasio, 40 Wall Street, and President Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images, 40 Wall St. via the Trump Organization)

Mayor Bill de Blasio, 40 Wall Street, and President Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images, 40 Wall St. via the Trump Organization)

The Trump Organization blasted the New York City mayor for saying his probe of the company turned up evidence of a possible crime.

Following a news report late last year that President Donald Trump’s development firm reported different income figures to lenders and the government for the same real estate, Mayor Bill de Blasio launched an investigation. The mayor said Friday that some of his administration’s findings had been referred to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance for possible criminal prosecution.

A spokesperson for the Trump Organization lashed back Monday, saying the mayor is the “last person to be pointing fingers,” given the “rash of investigations” against the mayor’s presidential campaign, which ended in September. (Previous fundraising efforts by de Blasio were also scrutinized by Vance and federal prosecutors, resulting in harsh criticism but no charges.)

“The allegations are unfounded and clearly motivated by politics,” the Trump spokesperson said in a statement to The Real Deal.

The mayor’s office followed up with its own barb.

“President Trump is a con artist and his refusal to release his tax returns says more than enough about what he is trying to hide,” Freddi Goldstein, the mayor’s press secretary, said in a statement.

In October, ProPublica and WNYC reported that the Trump Organization had reported lower income figures at some of its buildings to the Department of Finance, which oversees property taxes, than it did to potential lenders.

The ProPublica-WNYC report cited experts that suggested the practice used at the Trump Organization’s 40 Wall Street could amount to fraud.

On Friday, de Blasio said during an interview with WNYC that “at least one piece of what was found was serious enough to be referred to the D.A.” A person familiar with the probe said it was passed on to Vance in November.

A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office said the office does not confirm investigations, and declined to comment further.

Landlords of all sizes challenge their property assessments in an effort to lower their real estate taxes, including by arguing that they do not produce as much income as the assessment assumes. Reporting robust income to lenders can entice them to provide larger loans to the property owner. In the case of a discrepancy between the two income numbers, prosecutors could evaluate whether there was an attempt to defraud either the government or the lenders.

Bloomberg v. Trump: Real estate edition

Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg (Credit: Getty Images)

Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg (Credit: Getty Images)

Despite their many differences, Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg do have a few things in common.

Both are billionaires, both may be vying for the same office now that Bloomberg is considering a presidential run, and both men have a penchant for luxury residential properties.

The former New York City mayor and registered Democrat has built a townhome empire on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, while President Trump prefers the vertical life at his Trump Tower penthouse.

Something else they have in common: both have homes in Upstate New York and in Florida.

Ahead of a potential presidential face-off, The Real Deal sizes up some of their personal properties.

Michael Bloomberg

13808 Fairlane Court, Florida
Bloomberg’s daughter, Georgina, is a keen equestrian, and regularly attends the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, a wealthy enclave in Palm Beach County. That’s where Bloomberg bought this 5.8-acre estate in 2016 for $11.8 million.

19 and 17 East 79th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

19 and 17 East 79th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

19 East 79th Street, New York: 5 units
Bloomberg bought five units in this co-op over the years through an LLC, including one in which he bought from Charles and Susana Finkel i 2016 for $14 million.

17 East 79th Street, New York
Bloomberg purchased this five-story limestone townhouse next door in 1986 for $3.5 million. According to reports, he hoped to combine the neighboring properties to build a megamansion.

610 Park Avenue (Credit Street Easy)

610 Park Avenue (Credit Street Easy)

610 Park Avenue Apt. 5B, New York
Bloomberg bought this condo through a trust in 2008 for an undisclosed price. Property records show he bought a storage unit in the same building in 2013 for $50,000.

Farmhouse, North Salem, New York
Bloomberg bought this four-bedroom 1820s farmhouse — complete with indoor riding ring — in 2000 for $3.6 million.

Vail's Mountain Haus at 292 E Meadow Dr, Vail, Colorado

Vail’s Mountain Haus at 292 E Meadow Dr, Vail, Colorado

Vail’s Mountain Haus: 292 E. Meadow Drive, Vail, Colorado
An avid skier, Bloomberg owns a four-bedroom condo at Vail’s Mountain Haus ski resort. Similar to a hotel, the 72-unit building has daily maid service and offers room service through the on-site George Restaurant & Pub, according to New York magazine.

4 Cheyne Walk, London, United Kingdom (Credit Wikipedia)

4 Cheyne Walk, London, United Kingdom (Credit Wikipedia)

4 Cheyne Walk, London, United Kingdom
Bloomberg purchased the 6,266 square-foot home in 2015 for $25 million. The seven-bedroom mansion was originally built in 1715 and has been featured in Town and Country magazine. The property includes an ornately decorated library, garden and master suite.

Stokes Bay, Bermuda
This 6,000-square-foot estate was purchased in 1998. Soon after, Bloomberg demolished the original home and built a $10 million mansion that includes a mini-golf course, multiple swimming pools and a private beach, according to New York magazine.

Donald Trump

Mar-a-Lago Resort at 1100 S. Ocean Blvd (Credit: Getty Images)

Mar-a-Lago Resort at 1100 S. Ocean Blvd (Credit: Getty Images)

Mar-a-Lago Resort 1100 S. Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach, Florida
The 110,000 square-foot resort has famously become the president’s second home, and now that he is switching residency, will be his actual home. Built in 1927 by Marjorie Meriiweather Post, Trump bought the 126-room mansion in 1985. According to Forbes, he also owns three other homes near Mar-a-Lago, collectively valued at $36 million.

Trump Tower (Credit: StreetEasy)

Trump Tower (Credit: StreetEasy)

Penthouse, Trump Tower, New York
Trump’s longtime residence, the three-story Trump Tower penthouse features interior details in marble and 24-carat gold. The unit was designed by the late Angelo Donghia, who also designed homes for Ralph Lauren and Diana Ross.

Seven Springs mansion, Bedford, New York
This 39,000-square-foot property, north of New York, sits on 213 acres of land and reportedly features 13 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, a bowling alley and an indoor pool. When he originally bought it $7.5 million in 1995, Trump wanted to build an 18-hole golf course on the site, but he never got approval for the construction.

Two houses in Sterling, Virginia
Located near the Trump National Golf Club in Washington, these homes are collectively valued at $1.5 million, according to Forbes. Though little is known about the properties, the president is said to lend them out to club members and guests.

Beachfront home, St. Martin, Caribbean
Trump bought this beachfront home in 2017 and listed it for $28 million in 2013, later dropping the price to $17 million. In 2018, it was reported that the property was available to rent on Airbnb.

—Sylvia Varnham O’Regan and Jacqueline Flynn. Research by Mary Diduch

With move to Mar-a-Lago, Trump could use Florida real estate law to protect himself from creditors

Donald and Melania Trump at the entrance way of Mar-a-Lago (Credit: Getty Images)

Donald and Melania Trump at the entrance way of Mar-a-Lago (Credit: Getty Images)

In late September, President Trump and his wife Melania became the latest New Yorkers to relocate to Florida. The state has long been a refuge for business moguls, celebrities and athletes who are keen to protect their assets from looming threats.

On the surface, Trump’s decision to move his permanent residence from Trump Tower to Mar-a-Lago appears to be motivated by the tax benefits he would reap.

Because of a somewhat obscure state rule, the move down South could provide a critical safeguard from creditors and lawsuits. And it may also give him a boost politically in Florida, a state he likely needs to win in 2020 if he’s to hold onto the presidency.

But the move to claim residency in Florida may be more complicated than it appears, legal experts told The Real Deal.

Six months and a day

First, Trump has to establish that he resides in South Florida for at least six months a year. This includes his time traveling on his plane and going to meetings in New York City, said Anthony de Yurre, a real estate attorney with Bilzin Sumberg in Miami.

“Really, what it boils down to is you have to spend more time here than anywhere else,” said de Yurre. “How many days are you physically going to be here?

Since his inauguration, Trump has spent 99 days at Mar-a-Lago, and only 20 days at Trump Tower, NBC News reported.

The Trumps changed their residency by filing a document known as declaration of domicile in Palm Beach County. Sebastian Jaramillo, a real estate attorney with Wolfe | Pincavage in Miami, said the document is not the way most people would declare residency in Florida. But that the declaration nonetheless bolsters Trump’s argument that he is a Florida resident.

Trumps Declaration of Domicile (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

“This is not something that gets recorded very often,” said Jaramillo. “This is probably the only thing that he could do that says ‘I am a resident of Florida.’”

Eugene Pollingue, an attorney with Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, said that some residents can’t meet the six month and one day rule, which is where the “teddy bear test” comes in. In other words, where the person considers their true home.

“The real test is what is your center of gravity,” Pollingue said. “Where are your doctors, your lawyers? What church do you belong to? Where is your car registered? … In terms of Donald Trump, what is his teddy bear? Is it Mar-a-Lago? Sometimes you can’t really meet that test.”

Home sweet Homestead exemption

If Trump moves to claim homestead exemption — a legal strategy used by Roger Ailes, OJ Simpson and Burt Reynolds to protect themselves from financial threat — on Mar-a-Lago or any other property in Florida, the portion of the waterfront resort that he chooses to protect would be insulated from any legal claims, including bankruptcy.

It’s “one-hundred percent exempt from creditors,” Pollingue said. “That in and of itself is tremendous. The laws are very strong in support of this homestead exemption. The Florida Supreme Court has actually said if you take your assets and it put it in your homestead … creditors can’t attack that even if you’re doing it to defraud your creditors.”

Claiming homestead is more difficult than it appears for Trump, since Florida law says that only a half acre in a municipality. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, which has served as an unofficial White House II, totals over 17 acres, according to property records. It is also a commercial property, which are not allowed to claim homestead exemption.

In this case, Trump would have to divide a portion of the property to total less than half an acre or build a house on the new property, according to Jaramillo.

Read my lips: Far fewer taxes

The most obvious draw for Trump is the taxes, or lack thereof. Florida has no state income tax, no inheritance tax, and no estate tax. It’s the antithesis of New York.

Florida’s lack of state income tax in particular has long drawn residents from other states. Trump should know. His 2017 federal tax law, which capped the amount of state and local taxes homeowners could deduct each year at $10,000, damaged the housing markets in high-tax states like New York.

But it has been a boon for Florida, which has seen a spike in out-of-state buyers closing on luxury real estate. Brokerages and developers increasingly target these buyers, particularly as the pool of foreign buyers dries up.

Some of Trump’s business associates and friends have already made the move to Florida. Jamie LeFrak, who is the son of the president’s close friend Richard LeFrak, paid $19.6 million for the mansion at 4567 Pine Tree Drive in April. Harrison LeFrak, Richard’s other son, paid over $10 million for a penthouse at the ultra-luxury Four Seasons Residences at the Surf Club in Surfside.

The billionaire investor and corporate raider Carl Icahn, whom Trump referred to as a “very dear friend,” recently announced that he’s planning to relocate his investment firm from Manhattan to Miami. And this week, Icahn’s stepdaughter purchased a $7.3 million home in Golden Beach.

Trump made his career in real estate and left his sons, Eric and Donald Jr., to run the company when he left for the White House. If he decides to get back into the real estate game after he leaves office, he could save his employees some taxes like his friend Icahn by moving his operation near his prized Mar-a-Lago and Trump Doral resorts.

Trump Organization might sell its controversial Washington D.C. hotel

Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. and President Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. and President Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

The Trump Organization may sell its Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C., following years of criticism that the family is disregarding ethics laws by continuing to profit from it during Donald Trump’s presidency.

The company has hired JLL to market the hotel and is party looking to sell it because of the ethics criticism the family has faced, Eric Trump told the Wall Street Journal. Several groups have said they are interested in buying it, he told the publication. They hope to sell it for more than $500 million, which would make it one of the priciest hotel deals ever.

The building is 121 years old and located in the former Old Post Office near the National Mall. The federal government owns the building but leases it to the Trump Organization through the General Services Administration. The agreement with the GSA allows Trump to sell his interest in the Old Post Office lease as early as October 26, 2019, said attorney Susan Simpson.

Donald Trump famously did not sell his businesses after winning the presidency and has frequently visited and talked up the hotel since his election. Revenue increased by roughly $400,000 to hit $40.8 million last year, while revenue at several of his other properties dropped.

“Since we opened our doors, we have received tremendous interest in this hotel, and as real-estate developers, we are always willing to explore our options,” Eric Trump said in a statement. “People are objecting to us making so much money on the hotel, and therefore we may be willing to sell.” [WSJ] – Eddie Small

Former members of Trump Doral may have to wait decades to get their deposits back

Deposits of the 265 people on the waiting list range from $10,500 to $19,000

August 22, 2019 06:00PM
Donald Trump at Trump National Doral (Credit: Getty Images)

Donald Trump at Trump National Doral (Credit: Getty Images)

Ex-members of Trump National Doral have been waiting to inch forward on the refund list at the Doral golf course and resort — and they may have to wait decades more.

To move up on the list by one spot, four new members need to join the golf club, and the list is more than 265 people long, according to the Miami Herald. The deposits range from $10,500 to $19,000.

The Trump Organization bought the 800-acre golf resort out of bankruptcy in 2012. At the time, now-President Trump agreed to honor the membership and refund waiting list. At that point, there were nearly 500 active members and roughly 200 on the waiting list.

Since the president was elected and took office, Trump National Doral has suffered, blaming its losses on hurricanes and the Zika virus. Some members have left, the saying the club became too political or that they no longer wanted to support the president, the Herald reported.

Few members have joined between December 2017 and January 2019. One member said that he moved up by two spots, which means only eight members had joined, according to the Herald.

In an attempt to reduce the property’s tax bill, Tax consultant Jessica Vachiratevanurak told a Miami-Dade County official that the property is “severely underperforming” compared to other resorts in the area.

In 2018, Trump reported that the resort and golf club made 34 percent less than two years prior, down to $76 million.

One member told the Herald that after he met with the director of membership operations in December 2018, the wait for a refund would have been about 12 years. That means that those who left after the 2016 election could be waiting about 85 years to get their deposits back. [Miami Herald] – Katherine Kallergis

What you should know about Greenland and its real estate

What you should know about Greenland and its real estate

Greenland politicians have responded to a report that the U.S. President is interested in buying their territory by saying it’s “not for sale and cannot be sold”

Donald Trump and Greenland

Donald Trump and Greenland

No one seems certain how to take the news that the President Trump is interested in buying Greenland. Is it a joke? Is it even possible? Would Mexico pay for it?

Though numerous Greenlandic politicians have weighed in to unequivocally rebuff Donald Trump’s reported interest in acquiring their homeland, the president himself has not yet commented publicly on the Wall Street Journal report that first publicized his private hope for the Arctic nation.

Sources have said that Trump is interested in Greenland for its natural resources, strategic location for national security purposes, and because buying the territory could represent a windfall (or should we say snowfall?) for his presidency in the annals of history, à la Alaska.

On the off-chance Trump’s request for his White House counsel to investigate acquiring the Arctic island hasn’t frozen in its tracks, here are some things you should know about Greenland and its real estate.

  1. Greenland is technically part of Denmark, but is an autonomous territory with its own domestic government. Self-governance was achieved in 2009.
  2. Greenland is an island which is roughly 836,000 square miles in size. For comparison, that means the territory is about nine times the size of the United Kingdom; the U.S. is about five times the size of Greenland.
  3. It’s the least populated territory on the planet. Greenland’s capital, Nuuk, which shares some similarities to Manhattan, has 18,000 residents, which is roughly a third of the country’s total population. It only has a few real estate brokerages.
  4. The most expensive house for sale on a local Greenland listing platform is about $800,000 and no one can buy land in the territory. Instead, “buyers” are granted the right to use the land.
  5. Greenlandic is the official language (locally known as Kalaallisut), but residents are also taught Danish and English.
  6. As of Friday morning, there are only six Airbnb properties available for rent in Nuuk over the coming week. They range from $142 per night to $48.
  7. There are 16 major towns in Greenland and, yet, no roads connect each settlement. The only roads are in and around existing towns. Instead, residents travel via boat in the summer and snowmobile or dog sled in the winters.
  8. In 2018, the U.S. officials campaigned to block China from financing three airports in the country. Denmark provided the cash instead.
  9. More than 80 percent of the land in Greenland is covered by ice that is melting due to global warming, creating opportunities for resource extraction and dumping 900 million tons of land particles into surrounding oceans.
  10. The territory is believed to hold about 10 percent of the world’s rare-earth metals. Offshore Greenland reportedly holds 30 percent of the world’s gas reserves and 10 percent of its remaining oil reserves.

Sources: Reuters, WSJ, New York Times, BBC, NeighborhoodX, Brookings Institution, the Government of Greenland, Airbnb,, The Telegraph

Trump-Deutsche Bank ties a “bond born of necessity and ambition”: report

Trump-Deutsche Bank ties a “bond born of necessity and ambition”: report

Bank officials ignored repeated red flags for almost 2 decades

March 19, 2019 12:00PM

President Donald Trump and Deutsche Bank’s Rosemary Vrablic with Deutsche Bank headquarters at 60 Wall Street (Credit: Getty Images, Facebook, and Google Maps)

Amid investigations by two congressional committees and the New York attorney general, Deutsche Bank officials have sought to downplay the bank’s ties to President Donald Trump.

But a new report from the New York Times, based on interviews with more than 20 current and former Deutsche Bank executives and board members, argues that the bank’s eagerness to make a name for itself on Wall Street led it to ignore repeated red flags over almost two decades.

The first Deutsche employee to arrange loans to Trump, Mike Offit, was fired in 1999 after executives discovered that he had forged a credit officer’s signature, the report said. Offit had provided Trump with a $125 million loan for renovations of 40 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan.

In 2003, another Deutsche team was hired to sell bonds for Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. “If you get this done, you’ll all be my guests at Mar-a-Lago,” Trump told salesmen. He defaulted on the bonds a year later.

Then in 2005, the bank lent Trump more than $500 million for the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago. Trump later sued the bank to avoid payment, arguing that the 2008 financial crisis was “an act of god.”

In later years, Trump developed deep ties with the bank’s private-banking division, headed by Rosemary Vrablic, who was first introduced to Trump by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

The increased scrutiny of its activities comes at a sensitive time for Deutsche Bank, which recently began merger talks with another struggling Frankfurt-based bank, Commerzbank.

In the weeks before the president’s inauguration, Deutsche Bank told its Wall Street employees not to even utter “Trump” in public. [NYT] — Kevin Sun

Trump insurance broker subpoenaed following allegations of asset inflation in Cohen testimony

Trump insurance broker subpoenaed following allegations of asset inflation in Cohen testimony

Cohen alleged Trump inflated the value of 40 Wall Street

March 05, 2019 06:23PM

Donald Trump and Michael Cohen (Credit: Getty images and iStock)

The New York State Department of Financial Services subpoenaed insurer Aon following allegations made by former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen about the president’s previous business practices.

At a congressional hearing last week in Washington, Cohen said Trump inflated the value of his assets to insurance companies, as well as to Deutsche Bank.

Explaining how Trump did this, Cohen used the 40 Wall Street office tower as an example.

“Find an asset that is comparable, find the highest price per square foot that’s achieved in the area and apply it to that building,” Cohen said. “Or, if you’re going by the rent roll, you go by the gross rent roll times a multiple — and you make up the multiple, which is something he had talked about — and it’s based upon what he wanted to value the asset at.”

The New York Times reported that while DOFS has no criminal legal powers, it can refer potential criminal findings to prosecutors. The nine-page subpoena served on Aon requests “a broad range of materials regarding Aon’s business with Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization dating back to 2009,” a source familiar with the investigation told the Times.

An Aon spokesperson told the Times the company plans to cooperate with the investigation

The Aon subpoena is the latest indication that federal and state investigations that began looking for evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia are increasingly focusing their attention on Trump’s business practices. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), chair of the House Oversight Committee, has said he will “probably” ask Trump Organization CEO Allen Weisselberg to testify about hush money payments made to two women during the campaign, as well as other Trump business dealings.

In 2017, DOFS was reported to have been investigated Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank, but did not bring any actions or release its findings. [NYT] — Will Parker

Donald Trump’s childhood home is back on the market — at a big premium

Donald Trump’s childhood home is back on the market — at a big premium

The Jamaica Estates home is asking $2.9M

February 05, 2019 02:30PM

85-15 Wareham Place in Jamaica Estates with Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images and Google Maps)

President Donald Trump’s childhood home in Queens, which last traded hands in 2017, is again up for sale. This time, it’s asking $2.9 million.

The home at 85-15 Wareham Place in Jamaica Estates will be sold through a sealed bidding process, the Wall Street Journal reported. Interested buyers can submit their best and final offers by email, and the owner won’t accept offers contingent on financing.

The sealed process is an effort to the keep the sale “low key,” according to Ed Hickey, the Compass agent handling the deal.

“One of the reasons we’re doing it the way we are is to prevent a circus atmosphere,” Hickey told the Journal. “We anticipate that there will be a lot of curiosity.”

The Tudor-style home spans about 2,500 square feet. It dates back to the1940s, built by real estate developer Fred Trump, the president’s father. The president lived there until about age 4 before the family moved to a larger home, the report said. Listing images feature a cutout of President Trump as well as copies of his book, “The Art of the Deal,” placed in various rooms.

The asking price is steep for the neighborhood. A comparable home across the street is asking $1.25 million, the report said, and another nearby house sold for $640,000 in 2016.

“I think the only reason this house is selling for the kind of money it has is because of the presidential history,” Hickey said.

The home last sold for $2.1 million in 2017 to Trump Birth House LLC, which is an entity represented by Flushing-based lawyer Michael X. Tang. The LLC bought the home from real estate investor Michael Davis, who paid $1.3 million for it in 2016.

Davis continued renting the property from the current owner, the report said. And he previously rented it for around $700 a night on Airbnb. [WSJ] — Meenal Vamburkar