President Donald Trump’s net worth declined by more than $600 million in the past year, according to the Forbes 400 List of the richest people in America. However surprising Trump’s loss may be, the reason for it is even more unexpected. Trump’s real estate holdings, specifically those in New York City, have taken a big hit in the past year, as retail values are struggling in response to Amazon’s e-commerce gains.
According to Forbes research, the president is worth $3.1 billion, down from $3.7 billion a year ago. The loss has him moving from 156th on the list down to 248th. In accounting for the president’s $600 million write-down, the magazine cited the presidential campaign, which eroded his personal wealth, an expensive lawsuit, a dip in New York City’s real estate market that has hit retail particularly hard. “Values of several Manhattan properties, particularly those on or near Fifth Avenue, have dropped, shaving nearly $400 million off his fortune,” the magazine says.
Appearing on CNN Tuesday, Forbes assistant managing editor Kerry Dolan leveled blame for Trump’s real estate losses on e-commerce’s domination over retail, mentioning Amazon. Specifically citing the lease of the Niketown store and the Trump Tower property, Dolan said that retailers are suffering—even on the high end. It would appear that Amazon’s strategy of e-commerce over brick and mortar retail is winning, and that is having an effect on real estate values, she added.
Without Trump’s taxes and full financial releases, it’s difficult to get a full picture of the president’s net worth. But as it applies to his real estate losses, Dolan is confident in Forbes analysis. “We talked to tons and tons of real estate brokers who are super familiar with the properties, particularly in Manhattan,” she told CNN.
Outside of retail and New York, another hole in Trump’s wallet is the Trump International Hotel, said Dolan. The magazine had been in touch with Trump’s finance people, who said that in the past year, Trump had taken on a $170 million construction loan to complete the property’s construction. So, even though the hotel may be doing well, said Dolan, the property’s net worth is still down.
Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, took the number two spot on the Forbes list for the second straight year, with an $81.5 billion net worth.