Trump cashes in on weak dollar with overseas sales

NEW YORK, June 26 (Reuters) - While much of United States bemoans its weak dollar, property mogul Donald Trump is cashing in as foreign investors take advantage of the greenback’s woes to buy luxury New York lodgings at a discount.

Trump’s latest venture, the 45-floor Trump Soho Hotel Condominium, which is due to be completed next year, has attracted buyers from all around the world, with investors from Spain, Italy and Britain accounting for about 40 percent.

“It’s largely foreign buyers,” said Donald Trump Jr., vice president for development and acquisitions for the Trump Organization, which is headed by his father.

While New York always tends to attract more foreign buyers than real estate in other U.S. cities, Trump Jr. said sales of the Soho venture were definitely helped by the weak dollar.

“It’s great for us in high-end real estate. People in the UK, people in Europe are buying at a 30 to 40 percent discount to what would be normal currency exchanges,” he told reporters from mostly British publications at a press conference with his sister Ivanka and brother Eric, also Trump vice presidents.

The Soho Hotel’s 413 suites, which start at about $1.2 million, are being bought outright but unlike a typical residence, owners can only stay in the units themselves for a maximum of 120 days a year, due to local zoning laws.

Owners can opt to recoup some of the purchase price by renting out the suite for the remainder of the year.

About 60 percent of the units had already been sold, according to Ivanka Trump, who said the project had seen constant demand since sales began in September.

Buyers include Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a player for Italian soccer team Inter Milan, according to Sara Clephane, director of sales for the project.

Aside from amenities like an outdoor garden, a private library and “round-the-clock white-glove service,” the Trumps also point out that the high-rise building’s views will likely remain unique for residences in trendy Soho, where buildings are typically no higher than eight floors.

Since Trump won planning permission on the condition that the building remain a transient residence, the city has changed its zoning laws so that nobody else is likely to be able to build a high-rise in the area, Trump Jr. said. (Editing by Michelle Nichols and Eric Walsh)