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Real Estate Record
AND BUILDERS' GUIDE.
NEW YOKK, SATUEDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1881.
Published Weekly by The
Real Estate Record Association
ONE YEAR, in advance.....$6.00
Commimications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 137 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY. Busmess Manager.
The following table tells its own story. It
gives the number of conveyances, mortgages,
etc., in New York city, for the week ending
and including Wednesday, September 14.
Agents and investors interested irj. real estate
will find these figures from week to week
N, Y. City Am't. No, No,, 23d & Am't,
Conveys, involved. Nominal, 24th Wards, involved.
75 $809,074 25 12 $25,450
Mort- Am't. No.. Five Am't, No. toT. & Am't,
gages, involved, per ct, involved. Ins, Cos. involved.
108 $798,153 13 $324,700 17 $227,900
Mr. B. B. Valentine, now a resident of this
city, formerly lived in New Zealand. "While
there he become interested in the Torrens
land law, which is in vogue in that prosper¬
ous colony of Great Britain. He speaks of
it as being the most perfect land law known
to any nation. The title to all property is
absolutely secure, for it is guaranteed by the
government. There is no such thing as
searching a title. When C buys of B, he
does not trouble himself about the title of
A. It is sufficient for him to know that B
was in possession with a government war¬
rantee. Mr. Valentine looks upon our land
laws as a relict of barbarism. Their only
value is to pile up lawyers' bills, support
needless ofS.cials, and promote unnecessary,
costly and wasteful litigation. A land title
in New Zealand is as negotiable as a bond or
certificate of railway stock is with us. Mr.
Valentine, who is an Englishman, is sur¬
prised at the siipineness of the American
public in not adopting the land laws which
have proved so useful, so cheap and so safe
in the colonies of the British empire in the
It is somewhat remarkable that the open¬
ing of a railway line through Staten Island
has not added anything to the local attrac¬
tiveness of the country through which it
passes. There is considerable busiuess to
this road from people who live in Perth Am¬
boy, and wi.^h to reach New York by a short
route, but one is struck by the desolation of
the scene after riding the first half mile from
Clifton. The country seems deserted; land
which would make good orchards or past¬
ure, is left to grow wild and produce noth¬
ing but weeds and brush. The railway
stations are mere frame sheds, and there
does not seem to have been a new house
built or a new farm opened since the rail¬
road was first put ia operation.
Of course the trouble with Staten Island
is malaria. Fully two-thirds of that beauti¬
ful region is unfit for human habitations. It
is true that some people can reside with im¬
punity in its poisonous atmosphere, but two
persons out of every three who reside on the
easterly or southerly side of Staten Island,
are pretty sure to have the "shakes." Yet
it is one of the most beautiful islands the
sun ever shown upon. Its surface is rolling,
iti scenes picturesque, its drives delightful.
The land seenis to have been designed by
nature for the rich villas of wealthy New
Yorkers. The northwest portion of the
island is free from malaria; there have been
few cases of chills and fever at Brighton.
Various plans have been proposed for drain¬
ing Staten Island, but they were all so costly
that the local landowners wiU not spend
their money in making the necessary im¬
provements, especially as it is doubted
whether the island can be thoroughly
drained. Sometime no doubt an effort will
be made to drain this beautiful island. It
would be a splendid speculation to buy the
land at its present price and resell it when
the malaria was banished from its soil.
IS REAL ESTATE HIGH?
An active real estate dealer complains that
property has already advanced so much in
New York that people refuse to purchase.
There are many men who would like busi¬
ness property, but there is none in the mar¬
ket except at very high figures. Lots and
houses east of the Central Park and west of
Lexington avenue, are held at prices which,
this agent say.s, afford no margin for the
investor. There are j)lenty of vacant lots,
but they are held at figures which prudent
men hesitate to offer for them.
There is something in this complaint.
New York realty is in strong hands, and aU
desirable improved and vacant property is
not to be had, except at figures which seem
high compared with tlie quotations of four
years ago. The rise has been gradual,
scarcely perceived,, indeed. There has been
no boom or excitement, but quotations have
been marked up without any speculative
furor. There really does not seem much
margin of profit in the unimproved prop¬
erty in the neighborhood of where building
is going on. In Harlem, Manhattanville
and west and north of the Central Park,
there are still plenty of vacant lots which
can be bad at reasonable rates, but they are
in neighborhoods remote from the line of
improvement, and which are not likely to
be built over for several years to come.
The question now with real estate agents
is, will there be a strong market this faU in
New York city property ? That prices are
going higher goes without saying, but
whether the market will show any particular
activity is what is puzzUng operators. A
real speculation, accompanied by an eager
demand, will advance New York cifcy lots to
unheard-of figures. This will come some
day, but will it be this fall or next spring or
the foUowing year? Whoever can tell will
make his fortune, provided he has some
money and knows how to invest it wisely.
It is quite true that choice business prop-
,erty ift New York commands high figures;
but then this island is destined to be more
densely populated than any spot on earth.
The business house of the future will be an
immense building, filled with offices, ten and
twelve stories high. The homes of great
numbers who live on this island, will be in
the apartment house, vast structures which
will comfortably lodge and house thousands
of people on a comparatively small piece of
ground. Iu the coming era of large build¬
ings, the land of New York island will be¬
come exceptionally valuable.
It is no wonder then that in view of the
future, holders of realty should stick to it
through evil and good report. There is no
surer fortune to leave to our children, than
unencumbered realty on this island or in the
two wards north of the Harlem river. New
York can grow only in one direction, and
the march of the population northward can
be foreseen and easily' calculated. In the
future history of the city as in the past,
many a man who will be ruined in his busi¬
ness, will find that the neglected real estate
he owned will save him from ^extreme
Although many investors and some real
estate agents believe that property on this
island is dear, once let a speculative move¬
ment set in and very high figures witL be
scored. There is as yet a large margin on
the West Side for an advance, and the day
cannot be distant when houses and lots will
be in as eager demand by investors as now
are stocks and bonds.
EENTS AND HOUSES IN NEW YORK.
A reporter of the Real Estate Record
has been making a thorough canvass among
the real estate brokers as to the condition of
the rent market this fall. The result of the
various interviews may be summarized as
I. The demand for houses is far ahead
of the supply; the brokers cannot begin tc
satisfy all who are seeking eUgible places in
which to live.
II. The houses most in request are the
very costly ones. The demand seems to
come from the new rich made so by busi¬
ness a,nd speculation during the past year,
and by people from outside New York who
have come here to settle temporarUy or per¬
III. The locations most in favor are the
fashionable parts of the island, Fifth and
Madison avenues, the region of the central
zone of the city above Forty-second street
and between Fifth and Lexington avenues,
being ia special request.
I^IV. There is a remarkable dearth of weU-
located furnished houses. There seems to
be a large class of rich people from other
parts of the country, who wish to reside in
New York to see if they wiU remain here
permanently, and hence do not care to fur¬
nish their houses.
V. Suites in good apartment houses are
also in demand, whUe in hotels the number
of family boarders was never so large.
, Of course, it goes without saying that in.