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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 25, no. 616: January 3, 1880

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Real Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. XXV. NEW YORK, SATURDAY, JANUARY 3, 1880. No. 616 Published Weekly by C^e %ml Estate ^etartr %^satmixan, TERMS. ONE YEAR, in advance___SIO.OO. Communications should be addressed to C. W. S^VEKT, Nos. 135 AND 137 Broadway THE BUSINESS OUTLOOK FOR 1880. The year which commenced yesterday promises to be the most prosperous ever seen in the history of this country. Active as business has been dur¬ ing the past year, greater activity, higher prices and a better feeling may be reasonably expected during the year we have just entered upon. All the money in the country will be eagerly demanded for [extending old enterprises and commencing new. The aggregate rate of wages will xDrobably be ten per cent, higher in 1880 than it was in 1879, and this means that the spending class—those who receive wages and salaries—will iDurchase far more than they have done in any year since 1871. The evidence of this has already been shown in the demand for prints and domestic goods among the people at large. Those who arc producing neces- Bary clothing for the mass of the community can¬ not begin to supply the demand made upon them. Mills are running night and day; the wages of operatives are rising, but still the demand out¬ strips the supply. In many branches of trade there is an actual dearth of employees. The cheap¬ est labor, that of girls and women, is already Bcarce, and factory operatives command better prices than in any year since 1870. There is only one possible drawback to the transacting of a very large business, and that is the failure of the crops next summer. A well-known journalist, who occasionally makes predictions respecting future events, has given it aa his opinion that a failure of the. crops in this country is now in order. Like Pharoah's dream, this modern Joseph holds that the many years of plenty, in the way of crops, will be followed, if not by seven years, certainly one or two years of famine or, at least, of short crops. He argues that in the calculation of chances the Uniced States cannot expect to have a superabundant crop every year As a matter of fact, since the beginning of the civil war we have had no very bad year, so far as the fruits of the earth were concerned. True, in cer¬ tain localities corn was deficient, and in certain others winter Avheat was short, but, taking one year with another, allour crops of every kind have been higher than an average, while in some years, as in the last two, Nature has been most bountiful ito us. We may have short crops this year, but the isuperabundance of the last two years wiU tide us ,over even that, and the enhanced prices will, in a measure, make up for the deficient quantity, so jthat even the calamity of a failure will not mate¬ rially retard the prosperity of the country for the .coming year. But certainly up to May there can ;be no interruption to the business of the country from this cause. Wha.t, then, may we naturally expect from the first of January to the thirtieth of May ? We will try and particularize. First, as business will be active in every depart¬ ment of trade, the price of money will be high. All .during December the extraordinary phenomenon .occurred of excli^'nges from all the leading cities of the Union being against New York. Why this was so was the "puzzle of financiers. By some it was urged that the money was used to hold up the price of grain and cotton in blocks, and there were various other explanations given. But is not the real explanation one which we pointed out some time since that business is active in every part o^ the country, and money, therefore, is in great de. mand everywhere. The legal rate of interest here¬ after in this State will be six per cent,, but the real rate of interest, we suspect, will be much higher than seven per cent. This will act as a check to wild speculation in stock f, and general business but will not stop it by any means. Second, during the coming spring it will be found that our imports are largely increasing, and our exports materially, from a relatively point of view, decreasing. The immense balance of trade in our .favor, which we had for the last two years, cannot continue another, year. Abroad, they are producing, cheaper ; at home, we are demanding higher prices. This raeans that the drain of gold to this country cannot much longer continue. There will probably be a reverse movement, and gold will find its way abroad. Nor should this create any uneasiness. As a nation, we are pro¬ ducing eighty to ninety millions of gold and silver per annum. It is one of our products, one of the things we should export, for articles of immediate consumptive value. We confidently look forward, therefore, to an immense increase in our importa¬ tions, and the difference will be made up by some gold being shipped from our Atlantic ports, - Third, we expect to see an excitement in several departments of trade. The mining fever is already under way. Immense sums of money are being invested all over the country in properties which will be marketed during the present year. The San.Francisco stock market languishes for want of a new bonanza on the Comstock Lode. Until one is struck, matters will be no better out there. ■ But here at the East, we have Leadville, the Black Hills and other regions, and the dividends paid for the mines on this market exceed, by 'several millions, those which pay dividends in San Fran¬ cisco, Then there will be stock bubbles blown, for the immense sums of currency in the way of gold and silver will, in some Way, be utilized during the present year, resulting in higher prices and a spec¬ ulative feeling in all departments of trade, but more especially in the stock market. Fourth, our railroads will soon begin to show splendid returns, as compared with those of last year. Low prices obtained up to the fall of 1879. The railroads were fighting for what business there was; but competition has now ceased and the rates have gradually advanced, while an immense business is being transacted. The railroads report large gains—so large-as to seem phenomenal, and the leading stocks will be marked up tc much high¬ er figures in the immediate future than are obtain¬ ed on this second day of January, But the fever will spread to all departments of business, to gen¬ eral merchandise, keeping the rates of money high and tempting men who have any means to invest. This will be a hopeful year, a confident year. Great numbers of new enterprises will be started, and capital will be employed to the utmost. Emigration will largely increase this year. Al¬ ready the news of the prosperity of this country has resounded throughout the world, and we must ' expect to see a movement of emigrants from Europe to the United States larger in volume than any two years since 1873. Sixth, the West will receive an immense de¬ velopment. In addition to the large outlays in mineral lands, agricultural lands located near rail¬ ways are being rapidly taken up and the popula¬ tion west of the Missouri and northwest of the Mississippi will increase very greatly. The price of land east of the Sierras and west of the Mississippi will be worth an average of fifteen to twenty-five per cent, more by the close of this year. This will in itself create a buoyantlfeeling and be the means of giving additional'trade to Eastern manufactur¬ ers. The new rich in the West will be the mine sellers and the investors in low priced agricultural lands. Seventh,* railroad building, which came to a total stop after 1873, has beenresumed with vigor during the past year and will be continued with great assi¬ duity during the coming year. Over twelve thousand miles of roads are already under way and by the close of this year probably thirty thousand miles of road will be in process of construction. Nor will this rebuilding of new roads be confined to the West. The East will not only want its old roads repaired but new connections are being formed and new combinations are under M'ay which will involve the purchase and laying of a great deal of railroad iron. Our iron industry therefore will revive with an assurance of continuance for several years to come, and, all things considered, the iron industry is the basis of all others. There is no prosperity •without a demand for the material from which tools are made. We might continue this list, but what appeals more strongly to us is the probable effect of all this abounding prosperity upon realty in and near the city of New York. We think that those who have been suffering so long from depreciated prices, who have premises and lands heavily mortgaged, and who submitted to great sacrifices during the past few years, will, before the first of January, 1881, be able to get out not only without- loss but in many cases with great profit. There has been a good deal of quiet buying by people who see what is coming and prices will certainly loom up mag¬ nificently. We expect to see more real estate transfers during the present year then in any three years since 1S73. The transactions will be larger, more persons will be involved and more money made. We think all who take The Recoed and profit by its vaticinations will havs a prosperous and therefore a Happy New Year. THE FUTURE OF NEW YORK. Under this heading Mr. Frederick Law Olmstead contributes au interesting paper to a recent num¬ ber of the Tnhune. We won't say that it contains anything new, for it seems as though Mr. Olmstead must have been a studious reader of The Recoep for the past six months. The following are the concluding remarks of Mr. Olmstead's paper, and we are happy to quote them as endorsing what has been already put forth in this paper in many difr ferent ways: There is now a marked tendency in most large and thriving towns in two opposite directions--one to concentration for business and social purposes, the other to dispersion for domestic purposes. The first leads toward more compact and higher build¬ ing in business quarters, the other toward broader, lower and more open building in residence quarters. The old-fashioned "country house " of city people