Trump takes on debt as property values soar: Bloomberg

A new assessment finds the candidate's net worth jumped to $3B from $2.9B
July 19, 2016 10:30AM

Pinning down Donald Trump’s precise net worth can be an unforgiving task, but a new assessment from Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index estimates the developer-turned-candidate’s wealth at $3 billion, up from $2.9 billion last year.

In its updated assessment of the candidate’s financials, Bloomberg found that Trump took on more debt, sold $50 million in stocks and bonds and saw the value of his golf courses soar in the past year. Trump Tower in Manhattan also skyrocketed in value, to an estimated $600 million, from $490 million.

Although the developer-turned-presidential candidate insists he’s worth more than $10 billion, estimates from Fortune and Forbes both peg his net worth at under $5 billion.

The Real Deal took a stab at the calculation a few years back, as well, based on a 2012 financial report by Trump’s accountant WeiserMazars. That report put his net worth at $4.56 billion, including $1.38 billion worth of New York City commercial real estate, along with residential properties, golf courses, joint ventures, cash and debt. “I would not be surprised if my cash position was stronger than anyone in the [real estate] industry,” Trump told TRD at the time.

In its latest assessment, Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index based its calculation on information from Trump’s disclosures to the FEC and an array of property records, annual reports and interviews.

Beyond the real estate, one key difference in how Trump calculates his net worth and how everyone else does? The value of his personal brand. The candidate said his ability to license real estate and other products is worth $3.3 billion — far higher than Bloomberg’s assigned value of $35 million.

In a statement, the Trump Organization disputed Bloomberg’s figures, which they said “substantially undervalues our properties by failing to account for key value-generating components.” Trump is set to accept the Republican Party’s nomination for president this week.

In Bloomberg’s breakdown of the developer’s financials, it found Trump’s debt nearly doubled last year to $630 million from $350 million. Meanwhile, his liquid assets plummeted to $170 million from $225 million. (Trump has loaned $50 million to his campaign, but last month he said he does not plan to recoup the funds.)

When it came to Manhattan real estate, Trump real estate showed mixed results.

Trump Tower rocketed upward in value to $600 million, from $490 million thanks to increased rent revenue from Gucci, its largest tenant. (Trump also owns a $90 million penthouse at Trump Tower, as well as 27 commercial floors.) And Trump’s leasehold at 6 East 57th Street, where Nike occupies 90,000 square feet, is valued at $520 million, up $50 million from last year, Bloomberg noted.

An appraisal of his office building at 40 Wall Street was relatively flat at $540 million. But the value of 20 condos Trump owns at 502 Park has dropped to $170 million from $200 million. And Trump’s 30 percent stake in Vornado Realty Trust’s 1290 Sixth Avenue in Manhattan and 555 California Street in San Francisco, declined in value to $590 million from $640 million. (Trump towers in Chicago and Las Vegas, meanwhile, have also risen in value to $220 million, from $195 million.)

Another bright spot in Trump’s portfolio? The developer’s 16 golf courses and resorts, where revenue soared 17 percent last year. The properties have also increased in value to $710 million from $375 million a year ago. Trump’s three European golf courses, however, are all unprofitable. [Bloomberg]E.B. Solomont