The presidency of Donald Trump has indirectly helped the real estate market in South Florida, Miami property magnate Gil Dezer told CNBC on Thursday.
Dezer, who runs his billionaire family’s real estate empire, said prices of his firm’s Trump-branded properties in Florida have been pumped up by the president’s popularity there.
“We shouldn’t forget that Florida was the swing state and so there are a lot of Trump supporters there in Florida,” the president of Dezer Development said in a “Squawk Box” interview with CNBC’s Robert Frank.
Trump won Florida in the 2016 presidential election.
“Our market is geared toward South Americans as well,” Dezer added. “And the South Americans are tremendous Trump supporters. They love it. And so prices have sustained and continued to go up in the market.”
Meanwhile, all the negative attention around Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and the investigation into possible Trump campaign ties has discouraged wealthy Russians from investing as much as they have been in Florida, Dezer admitted.
“But we still have the local New York Russians — the Brighton Beach Russians, if you will — that are definitely coming down and having their second homes in Florida,” Dezer said.
One of the reasons New Yorkers are buying up Florida real estate is the tax advantage of establishing residency in the no-income-tax state that’s only gotten sweeter since the Trump changes in the tax law, Dezer said.
The tax reform package championed by the president and Republicans in 2017 aimed to cut taxes for middle-income earners, but it’s expected to actually increase taxes on wealthier Americans living in high-tax states on the coasts.
“New York has always been a tremendous feeder market for South Florida, especially Miami. And today there is kind of an incentive,” he said. “A business owner making $1 million a year will actually be saving enough money in taxes to support a $2 million mortgage on a condo in Miami.”
Dezer Development — founded in 1970 by Michael Dezer, Gil Dezer’s father — owns 22 buildings in New York and 11 in Florida.