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t^ebruary lO, l^OO.
ttECORD AND GUIDE.
PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS.
I'ubtished Kvcry Saturday.
TBLBFHONK, CORTLiKDT 1370,
Communications should t)t addressed to
C. W. SWEET. 14-16 Vewy Street.
/. T. UNDSEY, Business Manager.
"Entered ul tlie Poat-Ofp,t:.- at New York, N. Y.,an second-clues matter."
FEBRUARY 10, 1900,
The Index to Volume LXTV of the Record and Gnide,
covering the period between July 1st and December 'Alst, 1899,
is now ready for ddivery. Price, $1. This Index in
its enlarged form is now recognized as indispensable lo
everyone engaged or inUrested in real estate and building opera¬
tions. It covers all transactions—deeds, mortgages, leases, aiicHon
sales, building plans filed, etc. Orders for the Index should be sent
ai onee to the ojfice of publication, 1-1 and. 16 Vesey Street.
THREE events occurring this week directly help the specu¬
lative situation in the stock market from the bull point of
view. They are: The rise in the price of cotton, further cheap¬
ening of money, and the addition of Union Pacific common
to the ranks of dividend paying stocks. The flrst is by far the
most important, because it does for the South and the railroads
that develop that section, in proportion if not in degree, what
the rise in the prices of wheat and corn did for the West and
Northwest a few years ago. It gives the South that push and
impetus that it has been waiting for, and for the want of which
it has lagged in the advance in prosperity that the country has
been making for the past three years. A section largely agri¬
cultural can only be prosperous through the farmer. "When he
is receiving good prices tor his crops and has plenty of money
to spend everything moves; merchant, manufacturer and com¬
mon carrier are all benehted. The advance iu cotton, if main¬
tained, as it doubtless wili be, will call attention to the securi¬
ties of railroad, enterprises that stand in line to be directly bene¬
fited by it and thereby widen the field of both investment and
speculative buying. The declaration of a dividend upon the jun¬
ior Union Paciflc stock issue emphasizes anew the thorough way
in which reorganizations have been effected in recent years, and
also the fact of the value attained of late by American railroad
investments even when carried through all their vicissitudes.
OE the further ease iu money rates it is not necessary to speak,
that beiug the inevitable result of the return of funds to this
centre, and which in all probability will maintain until the
spring. The weakness in stock market ciuotations at the latter
part of the week is explained by realizations on a market still
largely speculative; but the limited extent of the decline also
speaks of new buying and a readiness of the market to take all
offerings on small concessions in the anticipation of an early
recovery and renewed advance.
SO far as the present boom in American iron and steel prices
depends upon a demand from abroad, its continuance is
likely, because there is no sign of a collapse in European ac¬
tivity in those lines. On the contrary, not only is the private
demand good, but the Government contracts, present and pros¬
pective, for new guns, new ships, new bridges, etc., supplements
it in the most satisfactory and enduring way. One of the at¬
tributed causes for this continued activity, finding currency in
the European financial press, will surprise those on this side who
are howling against "trusts," as they mistakenly call them, and
which are really trade combinations brought about by the
leaders of industry under a policy and necessity of progress. On
this point the Essen Chamber of Commerce, representing one of
the largest iron centres in the world, says in their report of the
past year: "In expressing the judgment that the past year was
an exceedingly prosperous one for our manufacturers, the indus¬
tries dependent upon them, and the laborers employed in them,
the Chamber ought not to omit to call attention to the fact that
we owe it to the syndicates and associations of syndicates that
the economic movement, which began in 1895, still continues in
progress, and, through the avoidance of ali extreme measures.
has gone forward with a uniform development," The last sen¬
tence gives something that deserves to be thought about, even
though coming from partial sources o£ evidence. I£ these com¬
binations can maintain "a uniform development" and avoid
violent upheavals and disruptions in trade they will.proTe tlie
greatest blessing the world ever received.
Auction Room Buying.
INVESTMENT RATHER THAN SPECULATIVE PARCELS THE
rHE Contoit sale undoubtedly tends to confirm the impres¬
sion created by the brokerage reports since the middle of
January that the market for improved real estate is gradually
resuming a normal tone. Wherever the Contoit offerings showed
a rental income commensurate with the fee value the specula¬
tive operators were outbid in the competition. Furthermore, al-
thougu none of the downtown parcels commanded liberal prices,
It was the purely speculative holdings—those in which the value
of the land alone was considered^that brought the least ade¬
quate considerations. For example, the antiquated premises com¬
prising approximately five lots fronting on Prince, Elm and
Crosby streets, though worth at a conservative estimate $±oU,uuO,
fetched only $116,5UU. The proceedings for the widening of Elm
street established the value of inside lots in this part of the
thoroughfare at between $30,000 and $35,000, and quotations in
the neighborhood certainly have not fallen since the recent rapid
transit developments. By way of contrast, the 5-story flat, con¬
taining a drug store, on the southeast corner of Sixth avenue
and 39th street, sold for $74,500, which was $4,500 more than Mr.
Contoit paid for it in 1892. The feature of the sale developed iu
the acquisition of the investment properties, Nos. 70 and 72
i'rankiin street and Nos. a53 to 357 Broadway, by Samuel uoid-
sticker for James B. Haggin, the Western millionaire mine
owner, who recently bought at private contract two new storj
and loft buildings in Broadway, one at the corner of Broome, ihe
other at the corner of White street. The sum total realized from
the auction was $892,750, of which $531,000 was obtained Iiom
the purchases of Mr. Haggin. It transpires that the property
Nos. 353 to 357 Broadway, for which Mr. Haggin paid $4i,i,Ui,o,
is assessed on the tax books at $445,000. With reference to tlt-s
circumstance his agent said: "Mr. Haggin, of course, gets in.
property at a reasonable figure, but the discrepancy between l..j
auction price and the assessed valuation should not be made Lui,
basis of judgment, as assessmeuts on Broadway are admitteu.y
high, and, in the case of everything except modern buiidin^^,
out of proportion to the value of the property."
Incidentally, the Contoit auction demonstrated, both in the pub¬
lic bidding and in private comment, the readiness of the pubn^.
to compete at an absolute, unprotected sale. When the will oi
Charles H, Contoit was filed on Dec. 28, 1897, it was accompaniea
by an affidavit to the efiect that a careful inquiry had failed Co
disclose any surviving relative entitled to a share in the estate,
so that aside from a gift of $150,000 to Minnie L. Hackett, who
was distantly related to Mr. Contoit's father, it was ordered that
the entire estate should be divided, share and share alike, among
the nineteen charities—churches, institutions, and societies—
named in Mr. Contoit's will. The auctioneer, Peter F. Meyer,
was able to announce that there would be no by-bidding, and
this assurance unquestionably contributed materially to the re¬
sult in what must be considered a very satisfactory sale. Th©
prices, it is true, were rather uneven. But offerings of this class
could hardly have been disposed of at the same figures a year
The southeast corner of Broadway and Houston etreet, front¬
ing 56.2 on Broadway and 96.10 on Houston street, sold by Peter
F. Meyer, for tbe Bruce estate, was bought by James J. Coogan,
president of the Borough of Manhattan, for $319,500, which waa at
the rate of $51 per square foot. The Revere House property,
fronting 34.7 on Broadway and 96.10 on Houston street, which
was included in this week's offering, was put up in the Spring
of 1896, when it was bid in at $61 per square foot, title passing
lo Matilda W. Bruce iu the following June. It is understood
that contracts were drawn some weeks ago for the sale to Mr.
Coogan, at $325,000, of the parcel for which he paid $319,500 at
the auction. In the partition sale of the Galligan estate, con¬
sisting ol about a dozen improved parcels in East 17th and 57th
streets, conducted by Philip A. Smyth, outsiders carried away a
fair share of the offerings.
The sum total of the business transacted In the Real Estate
Salesroom this week was $2,029,054. The offerings were of a
character to disclose the temper of the market in respect of In¬
vestment property, and the disclosure was most reassuring. The
auction season, though backward, will evidently develop activity