Janpary 8,. 1898.
Record and Guide
DEvirtd) p f^E^L E:sTAn.BuiLuif/c A^RcrfiTECTURE.HouseholdDEGOUfcixK
BiJsir^ESS /JbThemes of CEjto^V If/rtHEsT.
PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS.
Fuhliehed every Saturday
Telephonk, .... Cortlandt 1370.
Communications should be addrcased to
C. W, SWEET, 14-lG Vesey Street,
J 1. LINBSEY, Business Mamiovr.
"Entered at the Post-Office al New York, N, Y., as second-rlasn mutter."
JANUARY 8, 1898.
THE NEW INDEX.
On Janvary .15, ice will issue the Index lo Vol, LX, that is for the
period from July to December, 1897. Tliis publication is now in¬
dispensable to every one in the real estate bvsiness, as with it they
possess a complete record to ALL real estate transactions.
The Index refers not only io Conveyances and Mortgages, bvi to
Leases, Auction Sales, and Projected Buildings and the arrange-
inent is such that references are made under a single entry, so thai
ALL records filed during Ihe six months a^ffecting a given piece of
property are visible at a glance. The cost of Ihe Index is (^1.00 and,
orders for it should at once be sent to the office of publication. 14
and 16 Vesey Street.
THE stock market, which was held back by the need for
caution until the Uuioii Pacific payments to the govern¬
ment were completed, took a spurt immediately after the last
check had been delivered, and there is now a good prospect of an
advance under the release of large amounts of money to the
market. It could hardly be otherwise than that stocks and
bonds should advance in view of the improvement in business
and the conseouent increase in the earnings of the railroads.
Another factor in producing this result is the satisfactory way
in which liquidation has been accomplished in railroad capital.
Not only have most of the companies that went into receivers'
hands in 1893 and 1894 been reorganized, but the results of the
reorganization have been satisfactory, by replacing securities
which had a hopeless future before them by others of excellent
promise. The additions to the railroad mileage of the country
have been so small for many years that the older roads are now
reaping the full benefits of the increased traffic, and the history
of the newer mileage is one not calculated to encourage a boom
in railroad building for some time to come. The demand for
investment securities continues to be very strong, compelling a
broadening in the selection, a feature that can still become more
pronounced with benefit to both investor and the market.
vacillating movement, and the reports from textile manufactur¬
ing centers are unsatisfactory. The Austro-Hungarian Back:
has had to make special efforts to prevent internal political
conditions from depressing the currency and raising the rate of
exchange. The rapid rise in the Indian discount rate is again
drawing attention to the currency situation. For four years
and a half no rupees have been coined except for government"
account, meantime three of the most serious causes of trade de¬
pression have appeared, producing also suspicion and distrust
and concurrent scarcity of currency and the raising of
rates of exchange. The government is being petitioned by the
Indian Chambers of Commerce to put the currency on a gold
basis, the alternative presented being the opening of the mints
to the coinage of silver. The price of council bills at the lar^t
sale was equal to the rate at which the Indian government
offered to supply rupees for gold In the order by which their
mints were closed to the free coinage of silver in 1893. This
points LO the early shipment of gold to India.
THE first taste of consolidation came with the Mayor's mes¬
sage to the Municipal Assembly, and it must have been
rather bitter to citizens of old New York City to hear for the
first time that, civlcally speaking, they were practically at thq
end of their financial resources, and that henceforth public
improvement would have to come slowly, squeezed as it were
from rigid economies and an increased assessment. The con¬
stitutional limit of further indebtedness for Greater New York
is now only about $19.000,000—the amount having been reduced
to these low figures by the heavy indebtedness of Brooklyn.Rich-
mond and Queens, For instance, the net funded debt of Brook¬
lyn is $74,390,569 on an assessed valuation of $569,139,000. The
debt of Richmond is $3,314,000 on an assessed valuation of $24,-
371.000. New York City—that is, the new boroughs of Man¬
hattan and The Bronx—had, proportionately, nothing near such
indebtedness, the assessed valuation being $1,787,186,000 and
the funded debt only $138,825,000, leaving a margin for further
indebtedness within tbe constitutional limit of nearly $40,000.-
000. Half of this handsome sum is now wiped out. It has
been absorbed in fortifying the credit of the consolidated bor¬
oughs. Increase in tbe assessed value of real estate is almost
unavoidable now and, thus, as we predicted, the first cost of con¬
solidation falls upon the real estate owner. The Mayor's mes¬
sage also practically disposed of the present underground rapid
transit scheme. Nothing but the extension and improvement
of present facilities remains. The Mayor's observations' ot.
this subject are excellent, and we trust that steps will be taken
immediately along (he lines he suggests.
■^ TT 7 HILE Russia remains in occupation of Port Arthur, th^
V X Chinese Incident cannot be said to have closed, no mat¬
ter whether tne Kiao Chou matter is satisfactorily closed or
not. Britain's apparent refusal to imitate the other two powers
by seizing territory, and her appearance as the financial backer
of China, raise the hopes of those who would prefer to see that
country an open field for commercial competition rather than
the exclusive trade territory of two or more European powers;
but, before affairs in China take on anything like a permanent
condition, it will be necessary to see what the political effect of
the completion of the Siberian railway upon them is to be.
Britain's annual trade for ten years with China has averaged
something like $250,000,000, and she may be relied upon to do
her best to keep such a magnificent connection. The improve¬
ment in tbe Eastern outlook has created a more cheerful ap¬
pearance in financial circles, and the issue of the new loan will
give the markets a much needed stimulus to activity. Last
year's new capital applications were the largest since 1889, mak¬
ing a total of £157,289,000, of which, strange to say, not moru
than about 10% was placed outside of the Empire. The govern¬
ment will doubtless come to the relief of the Indian treasury,
which Is uuable to meet all the burdens of the famine, plague
and war. The condition of the money market still points to
rising rates. The bill imposing new duties on pork and pork
products has passed the French Chamber of Deputies, Ger¬
many Is generally satisfied with the outcome of the movement
on China, in the belief that the possession of Kiao Chou Bay
gives the Empire a foothold from which much more can be ob-
■ tained, and Berlin looks for an improvement in business in the
near future. Present conditions give iron and coal shares a
SOME REALTY STATISTICS FOR 1897.
IN so far as the records of the Register and County Clerk are
good testimony, there was a fairly good business in realty
and mortgages in the last half of 1S97- This impression we
gather in preparing the table given below, showing the distribu¬
tion of the property conveyed and the mortgages placed during
that period among certain specified sections. Later on when
our comparative tables are prepared we will see whether this-
impresssion is justified by the volume of business of previous
years. A very large part of the property conveyed, of course.
forms no part of the brokerage business, but it may. we think,
be fairly assumed that, if the volume of property whose trans¬
fer is recorded in the Register's ofiice is ae great In one period
as In another, the proportion that passes through the brokers*
offices is also as great.
In sections where there Is particular activity, indicating spec¬
ulation, it is assuredly tbe case that the services of the broker
are in good request in negotiating purchases and sales. Such
activity was found in property north of 59th street and in the
23rd and 24th wards, a fact that is by no means novel, tho
weekly reports of sales having kept it apparent for some time
past; but its full significance can only be seen In a comparison
such as that given in our table. Over 25%, or more than a quar¬
ter of the total number of conveyances relates to property north
of 59th street and south of 125th street on Manhattan Island,
and something more than another 25% to property in the an¬
nexed district, including the accession of 1895. The propor¬
tions are equally as large for the section north of 59th street
when money value is considered, because with about 25% of the
total of conveyances, in which tbe consideration is stated, as com¬
ing from that section the values they represent is nearly 30% of
the total of considerations given. This does not, however, ap¬
ply to the 23rd and 24th wards, as may be naturally supposed.
There while those wards can claim more than 30% of the total
number of conveyances, with considerations, of the considera¬
tions only about 11% relates to them. The comparatively small