Donald Trump: How much is Mar-a-Lago really worth?

As Donald Trump goes to trial for fraud, the price of Mar-a-Lago is in the spotlight – What’s its real value?

$18 million or $1 billion – what is the real price of Trump's Mar-a-Lago?
© James Devaney / GETTY IMAGES
$18 million or $1 billion – what is the real price of Trump's Mar-a-Lago?

45th President Donald Trump cannot shake legal proceedings away. On Monday 2 October, the former president started trial in New York after already being found guilty of ‘persistent fraud by inflating the value of his assets’. This new trial will continue to look at Trump’s alleged fraud but this time focusing on possible ‘insurance fraud’ and ‘falsification of business records’.

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The stakes are high for Donald Trump as this trial could result in him losing his permit to operate business in New York state. He could also pay up to $250 million in damages. If Trump were to be found guilty he could lose control or have to sell some of his ‘iconic’ real estate landmarks such as the Trump Tower, the place where Trump operates.

Mar-a-Lago in the spotlight

The Florida residence of the former president has caused a lot of ink to spill since Trump left the Oval Office. Indeed, this is where classified documents were found. A picture of the file boxes piled up in a bathroom is now famous.

However, the classified documents are not why the residence is being mentioned during the New York trial. It seems as if Donald Trump has over exaggerated the value of this home. According to the New York Post, Judge Engoron, who will be ruling during the fraud trial, has already challenged Trump’s estimation. According to Judge Engoron, the expert value commissioned by Donald Trump estimating Mar-a-Lago at $1.5 billion is ‘unexplained and unsubstantiated dreams’.

In his ruling on 26 September, Judge Engoron cited a local Palm Beach County official who revealed the property was assessed between $18 million and $27 million between 2011 and 2021.

Both Trump and Judge Engoron’s numbers are questionable...

The value of Mar-a-Lago

Following the ruling of Judge Engoron estimating Mar-a-Lago between $18 and $27 million, a wave of reactions came about.

A real estate broker spoke to New York Post and said that Judge Engoron’s estimation was ‘utterly delusional’. Adding:

If that property were on the market today, I would list it at around $300 million, minimum … at least. He also has the separate golf course minutes away.

However, it is important to remember that Trump’s expert estimated the property at $1,5 billion which is far from the possible $300 million the real estate broker would hope to get.

New York Post also adds a bit of context to that estimated $300 million.

They explain:

a 2-acre wooded lot at 1980 S. Ocean Blvd., just 5 minutes from Mar-a-Lago, is currently listed for $150 million.

Building on, they wrote:

Mar-a-Lago, situated at 1100 S. Ocean Blvd., dwarfs this lot tenfold and operates as a commercial business with around 500 members as part of the golf club.

Other properties like Trump’s are reported to be worth around $200 million.

Mar-a-Lago could therefore be worth between $200 and around $300 million.

Read more:

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Financial Times: Donald Trump confronts New York fraud claims on first day of trial

BBC News: The New York buildings that Donald Trump could lose

New York Post: Real estate insiders bewildered by judge’s $18M valuation of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago: ‘Would list at $300M’

New York Post: Judge at Trump civil fraud trial implores media to stop saying he valued Mar-a-Lago at $18M

Donald Trump no longer has the right to run his own company Trump Organization Donald Trump no longer has the right to run his own company Trump Organization