Donald Trump was recently in Toronto to try to stir up interest in unsold units in the Trump International Hotel & Tower amid talks of the Toronto real estate market becoming increasingly overheated. Toronto has the distinction of having more condos currently under construction than any other North American city.
The Trump International Hotel & Tower has been open since the end of January, and is the tallest residential building in the city. There is little risk of Donald Trump losing any money, as he’s not responsible for developing the tower, and doesn't own it. This might be just as well as it has to compete against a considerable number of other luxury developments in the city which include the Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons, both of whom have a mix of hotel suites and condos. The Trump property is owned and developed by Talon International Inc., who is using the Trump name under license.
Apparently Mr Trump is very happy with occupancy rates, especially on weekdays, and the Mayor of Toronto recently told reporters that hotels in the city are seeing record business. Last year the number of hotel rooms nights sold exceeded 9 million for the first time.
The Trump Tower, which is right in the heart of the financial district, was officially declared open on Monday, and at the moment around 60% of the residential units have been sold, with remaining units priced between $2.3 million and $6.3 million. About 80% of all the units in the building have already been sold, but just 35% have been bought by Canadians increasing fears that foreign buyers are influencing property prices in the city. The building is 65 storeys high and has 261 hotel condos, and owners are able to use the rooms while in the city, but receive revenue when they are rented out through the hotel.
According to BMO Nesbitt Burns, real estate prices in Toronto have risen by an amazing 10.5% during the past 12 months, attracting the attention of both the central bank and the federal government.
Mr. Trump learned his lesson back in the real estate crash of the late 1980's. It was the one that made him famous for being the largest private debtor in the world. His comeback from that fiasco taught him some important lessons for real state investors.