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RECORD ANt> GtinDfi.
Dev&teD to R.EA.L Estate .BulLDl^'G %cKit£cture.Kousehold DEGOfiftnotf,
BiJsn/ESS Alb Theses of Get^r^L 1Htei\esi..
PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS.
Published every Saturday.
Telefiioke, Cortlandt 1370,
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street.
/. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
"Entered at th& Post-OSice at New Tork, iV, Y., as second-class matter."
JANUARY 20, 1000.
Theliidex lo Volume LXTV of tlie Record and Guide, covering
the period between Jul;/ 1st and December 31st, 1SU9, will be
ready for delivery dining the eomina week. Price, $1. Thi'i
Index in its enlarged form is noto recognised as indispensahle to
every one engaged or interested in real estate and building opera¬
tions, it covers all tra>tsactions—deeds, mortgages, leases, anoHon
sales, building plans filed, etc. Orders for the Index should be sent
at once to the ojfiee of publication, 14 and 16 Vesey Street.
ONE would suppose, judging by the comments generally prev¬
alent, that the Stock Market is influenced entirely by the
war in South Africa, and that the poor success attending the
British arms, explains its dullness. Of course, the war has its
influence, and victory or defeat on one side or the other ari=
things that professional traders use to direct sentiment whither
they want it to go; but the real reason why cur prices do not
advance mere, is the absence of speculation due to the occupa¬
tion of the public in their legitimate pursuits. If there was any
public in Wall Street, it would soon cut itself away from out¬
side influences. Even in Europe, where the effects of the war
are felt mo&t directly they have moderate results, owing also to
an inability of those who make the security markets active by
their presence, to attend to speculation and the large business
they are doing at the same time. The Bank of England and the
Bank of France both reduced discount rates this week, though
the remainders are not so low as to indicate absence of commer¬
cial demand. "Wilih us rates are low enough, the condition of
business good enough, and that of corporations whose securities
are traded in, prosperous enough to encourage speculation. If
the moneyed public had not something better to do. As it is,
prices hold fairly strong, the investment demand continues good,
and there has been no fair and adequate reaction from the de¬
clines forced in the last half of the past year. IL is reasonable to
suppose from these facts that when the security market does be¬
come really active, it wili be in an upward direction. There are
those who foresee a renewal of the currency fight in the coming
presidential election, and look askance at Quoted securities on
that acccunt, but it will be early enough to take fright on that
account when the nominations are made.
THERE is much to support the claim of architects and build-
■ ers in the Bronx that there cugbt to be within that bor¬
ough an office at which they -can file their plans instead of hav¬
ing to make the long journey down to 18th street and 4th avenue
for that purpose. The closing of the Bronx branch offlce of the
Department cf Buildings was a mistake and that the parties
aggrieved thereby are now appealing to the Legislature for re¬
dress ought not to surprise any one. Nor should it be surpris¬
ing that while about it they take the radical step of asking for
the appointment of a separate Commissioner of Buildings for
their borough. This, however, is opposed to the principle of con¬
solidation, which the' Charter embodies, and is, therefore,
hardly likely to meet the approval of the municipal administra¬
tion that may be said to have the deciding word cn such mattes.
The claims cf the Bronx people and the reasons with which they
support them will be found in our news columns. It would be
easy for the Department of Buildings to meet the worst com¬
plaint by reviving the facilities once given to Bronx builders
and architects, and for whose withdrawal it is hard to Imagine
any just cause.
THE introduction of Senator Stranahan's Tax Bill has
aroused a pretty lively discussion throughout the State.
As a result more bills are being introduced to direct the effects
of the first away from, particular interests. The agriculturists
have procured the introduction of a bill to exempt from the pro¬
posed mortgage tax farm mortgages. It need not be pointed out
that the effect of this would be to correspondingly increase the
tax burdens of the cities. Another bill, that of Assemblyman Rob¬
erts' is good ia intention, but unlikely to be satisfactory in execu¬
tion. Tlie intention is to make the mcrtgage tax fall upon the
mortgagee, but the means proposed to do this are quite inade¬
quate, as, in fact, any legislation means would be; because, that;
matter will be controlled by economic and not legislative laws.
For a time the.operation of the former may be obstructed, but
eventually they must prevail, and the more they are obstructed
the greater will be the injury that will finally result from .that
As Viewed by Brokers.
FAVORABLE FEATURES OF THE OUTLOOK FOR SPRING
^^KE brokerage news, measured by the budget of last week,
■^ is disappointing. There are no items of first-rate import¬
ance, and the sum of the reports hardly reached seasonably nor¬
mal proporiiions. Nevertheless, considered with reference to the
preceding autumn and winter months, the sales at private con¬
tract constitute a substantial body of business. The real estate
market, though not so conspicuously as last week, developed evi¬
dence of sympathetic activity induced by easier conditions in
the general money market. The resumption of dealing in vacant
lots and antiquated premises is sufRcient proof that building loan
operators and speculative builders are preparing for an active
spring season. Apart from the movement occasioned by the re¬
newal of purchasing for improvement, the real estate market
disclosed little disposition to shake off the lethargy of recent
months. Still, it is worthy of note that there was not the total
absence of transactions in mercantile property which has come
to be accepted as an ordinary rather than an extraordinary oc¬
Indeed, brokers say that they find it easier to obtain considera¬
tion for offers of investment property than tbey did a very short
Lime ago. The conviction is gaining ground that intrinsic con-
diLions in real esLaLe have assumed a posture attractive to out¬
side capital. Everybody admits that, after years of liquidtion
and after a rise in eonstrucLional cosl, all that is required to give
the upward impetus to realty values is the merest hint of a dis¬
position on the part of the public to buy improved property, and
few doubt that, were the uncertainty as to the fluauciai mariet
removed, this disposiLicn would logically follow. Brokers have
every advanLage of argumenL—renLs are rising, fee values are
low, and a period cf rising quotations is anticipated.
These considerations are strongly reinforced by the prospect
for rapid transit. There is every reason to suppose that the
tunnel road will be constructed wilhin from three or five to ten
years; if Mr. McDonald does not build iL, some oLher contracLor
will, or else the municipalLy. It was observed when Lhe ele¬
vated roads were built that there was little rise iu lot values
between the commencement and completion of the work of con¬
struction; a very considerable part of the speculative rise had
been discounted before the constructional work began. But as
soon as the lines were completed land values doubled and trebled,
in advance cf the influx of population. The conclusion is inevit¬
able that it wculd be impossible to err now in buying improved
property. Even a 5-sLory single flaL in Harlem would net a sav¬
ings bank interest on the inves'tment,and at the end of from three
or five years to ten, at the utmost, it would command a very
handsome unearned increment. The building up of the island
north of 155Lh street, taking the East and West Sides as preced¬
ents, will be accomplished in a very few years, once rapid transit
is realized, when the district between 59Lh and 12oth streets
would stand in the same relation to the city's residential and
shopping center that the section between 14th and 59th streeta
does now. According to D. Phoenix Ingraham, lots on the souLh
side of 125Lh streel, beLween Sth and Tth avenues, were selling at
$4,000 when Lhe elevated road was under construction, while lots
in other streets, between the same avenues, were bought for
$1,500 and $1,200. Certainly these lots, particularly if improved
and carrying themselves, proved at those figures the most bril¬
liant investments that ever combined safety with profit. Real es¬
tate is in precisely the circumstances, local and general, making
for a rise in values, that obtained in 1S79, which year inaugurated
a decade of extraordinary and almost uninterrupted prosperity.
In short, the Intrinsic merits of the real estate situation, brokera
say, are so apparen>L that, with prospect of a protracted period of
normally low interest rate on money, we ought to see a move¬
ment in improved property every bit as impressive as that which
we witnessed last spring in vacant land.