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Re.al Estate Record
AND BUILDERS' GUIDE,
NEW YOEK, SATUEDAY, APEIL 15, 1882.
Published Weekly by The
Real EstateRecord Association
ONE YEAR, in advance.....$6.00
Communications should be addressed to
C. W, SWEET, 13T Broadway
J. T. LINDSEY. Busmess Manager.
The heavy increase to the subscription list of The
Re.\l Estate Record has for some time past interfered
^vith its prompt publication. An addition has, how¬
ever, been made to the mechanical facilities of the
establishment by the addition of new presses, and it
is confidently expected that the paper will be in the
hands of subscribers hereafter early on Saturday morn¬
ings. Last week an accident to the form after it was
made up, delayed the issuing of the paper for some
hours. The'swarm of postal cards and letters com¬
plaining of the delay, shows^how indispensable The
Record is to thousands of owners of and dealers in
real estate. Indeed at no time since the founding of
The Record in 1868 has there been such eager interest
in realty. The Register's ofdce is thronged as it has
never been in its history, by swarms of lawyers exam¬
ining titles, and on every side there is evidence of the
growing interest in [that most solid of all securities,
Investors are puzzled at the eccentric
course of the extended Government 5s.
While the 6s and 4s advance, the 5s are
showing a decline. Tliis is accounted for
hj a defect in the law which provides that
the highest numbers registered are the flrst
to be redeemed. Now the highest numbers
are those last registered. So it happens that
when an investor wants to purchase a Gov¬
ernment bond he avoids the 5s, because when
he registered his bond it would bear the
highest number to date. Secretary Folger
is calling in the 6s at the rate of $15,000,000
a month, and they will all be cancelled by
September next. Then the 5s will be called,
and those last purchased and registered will
be the first redeemed. This provision of the
law keeps down the price of the 5s, com¬
pared with the other Government securities.
A city paper wishes the Legislature to put
a higher valuation and a heavier tax on un¬
improved than on improved property. It ar¬
gues that people should be discouraged from
holding unimproved lots for speculative pur-
[loses, and that the taxation should be so
heavy compared with improved realty as to
force them to build. All this is specious
nonsense. Holders of lots even in New York
are not among the most favored of property
holders. What with taxes, assessments for
improvements and loss of interest, the lot
owner in the end is apt to come out minus
his money. While it is quite true that cer¬
tain well located purchases of property are
very profitable, it is also^ true that lots far
away from the line of improvement are a
grievous burden to those who own thern.
A vacant lot ought to double in value every!
seven years in order to pay for the cost of
carrying it. Legislation such as that pro¬
posed smacks of communism. There is no
more reason why a man should be punished
for putting his money in unimproved lots,
than there is if he invested it in buying
meat or grain.
THE GREAT IMMIGRATION.
We read in history of the vast hordes of
barbarians, who from time to time swept
over Western Europe. They came from the
East, some from Central Asia, others from
Russia, or as it was then called Scythia. But
these migrations were those of armies fol¬
lowed by hosts of women and children, and
many years elapsed before the conquest and
settlements of the Goths, Vandals and other
invaders were perfected. This swarming
from the populous hives of the East still con¬
tinues, but under changed conditions. It is
believed that if the crops of the coming sum¬
mer are fairly good, fully 900,000 foreigners
will come to these shores to permanently
settle in the United States. The immigra¬
tion is not confined by any means to this
port. Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore,
Portland, indeed ships of all kinds are bring¬
ing immigrants to all our seacoast cities.
Chicago has become a great immigrant
depot, for the stream of foreigners which
arrives at that city by railroad from New
York is met by another which reaches the
capital of the northwest by way of the lakes.
The immigration to Canada, or rather
through Canada, is very large; but then
many of the newcomers by that route are
bound for Manitoba. Germany sends us the
largest contingent of immigrants; a new
element is the Italian, great numbers of
■^phich have recently reached New York
directly from the Italian peninsula.
This great immigration far surpasses in
numbers the great movements of population
during the decline and fall of the Roman
Empire. The cause is very much the same
now as then; population increased very
much beyond the means of subsistence and
so tlie healthy and hungry sought fresh
fields and pastures now. The immediate
reason for this immigration is the competitiosj
of American grain with that grown xiii
Europe. Farming has been unprofitable in
Europe for the past seven years. In every
country mortgages have accumulated and
the agricultural classes have become impov¬
erished. The immense German immigration
is also partly due to the demonetizing of silver
w^hich threw the business of the country into
confusion, and to tlie heavy military exac¬
tions. Throughout Westei-n Europe there
has been a strike against the landlords. In
Ireland it has developed into an ^agrarian
social war, in Scotland the tenant farmers
have begun to move in a more orderly man¬
ner, iu England the landlords have been
forced to reduce their rents 20, '60 and in
some cases 50 per cent. The French peasant
does not make his money as he did ten years
ago, and has taken to manufacturing and
speculating, while in Germany small farmers
are turning what they have into money and
come to this country.
There canbebut one effect of this-whole"
sale influx of foreigners. It will add
immediately to the value of all kinds of real
property. For years to come there will not
be sufiicient [houses, to accommodate the
natural growth of our population with this
sudden addition of families from abroad.
Farms will be in demand, the area of taxa¬
ble property will be largely increased and a
solid basis laid for great industrial activity.
It is idle to talk of an era of low prices for
anything while our population is being
swollen in this way. The consumptive
demand of thecountrywill steadily increase:
there will be more mouths to feed, more
backs to clothe. Tools and the implements
of labor will be in increasing demand and
new life will be imparted to every depart¬
ment of commerce. In this- state of things
people can buy all kinds of consumable
commodities without fear of loss, but the
surest property to purchase will be realty.
The recent pegging process of Messrs.
Vanderbilt and Gould was so clearly artifi¬
cial that it resulted in leaving the market in
a very feverish and uncertain condition.
Left to itself, the market might have reached
a crisis in the way of low prices, but
would then have recovered naturally.
There are influences at work which ought to
steady prices, if not advance them. Money
is easy, the immigration is phenomenally
large, railroad earnings show an inci'ease
and there has been a heavy falling oif in.
quotations. Six, seven and eight per cent,
securities do not seem dear at present prices,
but the artificial screwing up of values
created distioist and made operators uncer¬
tain as to what they could depend upon.
There may be a depressed feeling and per-
haps~a sudden drop, but some time during
May or June we will have an active market
and probably higher prices than those which
now obtain, dite to the promise of the crops;
but there can be no genuine, honest bull
market until there is some] certainty as to
the harvest and the probable surplus we will
te enabled to export. So far gold has not
3eft our shores to any amount, but the
"lieavy imports and the light exports cannot
long continue without our golden eagles and
double eagles flying back across the Atlantic.
The Superintendent of Buildings, Mr.
Esterbrook, has presented his amended build-
ng law to the State Legislature. It will, of
course, be radically changed by that body,
but it will be a miracle if it is improved.
Undoubtedly the effect of all legislation is to
increase the cost of building. There was a
time when there was too little public over¬
sight in the construction of dwellings; we
are now likely to err in the other direction.
The improvements will doubtless add addi¬
tional strength and security to dwellings,
but will also add to their cost. This means
higher rents and fewer houses. The new I i 1
provides that all mason work must be sus¬
pended in freezing weather, that the casing of
all elevators must be iron, and that stone or
metal steps must be used in all high apait-
Imenf houses or buildings intended for offices.