Manhattan townhouses

"Trump economics" boosts Manhattan's luxury property market

The high-end housing market in Manhattan is booming thanks to President Donald Trump's economic policies and tax cuts for the wealthy, according to a prominent real-estate broker firm.

Sales and enquiries for upscale townhouses and mansion-like properties across the New York City borough have skyrocketed over the past year, said a statement from broker Leslie J Garfield & Co.

Using data from market analysts Dataloft, the company found that demand, value and number of refurbishment projects among these types of homes are all increasing.

Stock market confidence stimulates sales

The real-estate firm put this shift down to what it described as "Trump economics" – the president's focus on stimulating the US economy via Wall Street, and tax cuts for the highest earners, similar to those championed by former president Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

"During the Reagan era the luxury residential market in Manhattan boomed, something Trump in business himself benefitted directly from," said company president Jed Garfield. "He now seems to be aiming at replicating this under his own administration, and certainly the New York City real-estate data from the last 12 months indicates that its starting to have an effect."

Confidence in the stock market and interest from rich overseas buyers is contributing to the boom at the top end of the market, where Leslie J Garfield & Co operates, according to the firm.

"Trump is committed to talking up America," said partner and managing director Rick Pretsfelder. "He has decreased taxes for pass-through-entities, his tax reforms are lowering bills for firms and wealthy Americans, and he is engaged in the largest expansion in government spending since 1945."

"All of this is aimed at producing a more robust economy, a booming stock market and upturn in real-estate demand and values," he added.

New York property prices overtaking London

The research revealed that square-footage prices for Manhattan's most expensive properties have surpassed those in affluent areas of London, like Kensington and Chelsea, and are also overtaking those in exclusive Knightsbridge.

On the Upper East Side – long considered New York's wealthiest neighbourhood – the average sales price for townhouses and mansions has surged by 21 per cent over the past year to $13.6 million (£9.8 million). This compares to a $12.5 million (£9 million) average for these types of properties in Knightsbridge and Belgravia.

Leslie J Garfield & Co's intel says that other areas of New York City experiencing similar trends for townhouse sale-price increases – compared to the beginning of last year – include the Upper West Side (seven per cent), Midtown East (38 per cent) and Brooklyn Heights (13 per cent).

"Sales volume is up 27 per cent since the start of 2017, with an average of six townhouses/mansions now selling each month, compared to just a trickle during the recession-hit Obama years," said the company's statement.

Wealthy foreigners also investing in NY property

For Manhattan residences priced over $20 million, 63 per cent of enquiries are from domestic buyers and 27 per cent from international buyers. The top four countries for foreign investment are China, Britain, France and Germany, the research claims.

Trump made much of his fortune in real estate, developing sites and building towers for high-end residential all over the world, before running for president. Leslie J Garfield & Co is not fully confident in his policies, but says the evidence suggests that they are having the desired affect at present.

"In our view its a big economic gamble and Trump remains a very polarising figure in America," said Pretsfelder. "However, what is not in dispute is the fact that Manhattan's most exclusive addresses, led by the Upper East Side, are seeing an upturn in sales volumes, values and enquiries."