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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 46, no. 1180: October 25, 1890

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-October 25 1890 Record and Guide. 537 Dwbid) TO fM- Estate . BuiLoiffc A^itectuiv ,HaJSErtou) Deoo^tioiI. BUsu^ESS Mb Themes of GeHeiW- I| landing back, cs the district does, from the main thoroughfares of the city, transfor¬ mation from a region of rookeries into a district of costly umre- houses and stores of the first magnitude has not only been unob¬ served by the general public, which see only those " things on the way," but by even the greater part of those who from financial and other reasons follow closely the devetopment of the metropolis. In the illustrated supplement which accompanies f/itst»«t*e,THE Rec¬ ord and Guide has undertaken to discover to the public this" New Mercantile District."' A history of the district is given, with a con¬ sideration of the causes which led to the neglect for so long of so im¬ portant a part of the city,and of those cauMS which have now turned it into the hands of capitalists for improvement. With this there are tables of values, list of transfers and other statistical informa¬ tion, with illustrations of practically all the important new build¬ ings recently completed or at present constructing. From the builders and real-estate man's point of view, for some time to come this section promises to be the most important in the dty How much vsork has already been done, and the high character of that uxrrk, can be seen in the supplement, wliere it is all made nsible, as it were, at a glance. It is not the practice of The Record and Guide to " puff ' itsef, but in this case we J eel Justified in going so far as to draw the attention of our subscribers, readers and advertisers to the magni¬ tude and the high character of this issue, and to the great labor and the heavfy cost involved in producing it; and we desire especiaUy to point out the fact that, differing from the common practice, the price ot this number has not been increased, so that the full advan¬ tage has been given to our readers and advertisers. Undoubtedly, many of our subscribers unll wish to send copies to friends abroad and throughout this country. If they urill send to the office of pub¬ lication. No. 191 Broadway, a list of the names and addresses and the number of copies wanted, we will mail them to their destination, collecting the cost aftervcards. A SHREWD opemtor in Wall street once said that he always beUeved in selling stocks when railway presidents declared tbat they have more business offered them than they have cars to carry it. Most ot the dealings in Wall street took place, in the past week, under the Influence of some such idea, for prices sagged off despite the undoubted general prosperity throughout the country. Every week the scribes have confidently predicted that the bottom was reached; but, apparently, the end is not yet. The process of levelling pnces down to the rates of money still continues. Neither is there much hope that the feeling of apprehension as to the future money market will be immediately dispelled. The European money markets are in an equally uneasy state, and depend upon drawing gold from this centre, while the contemplated restoration of specie payments by Austro-Hungary will depress silver and create a pressing foreign demand for gold. The contingency on which the fall in prices during the past week immediately hinged has been the break in sugar certificates; and as is usual in such cases, tbere exists in Wall street just now a pessimistic feeling as to the future of the industrial securities. But it is safe to say that there is as much money in these properties as there is in railroad stocks. The Sugar Trust is at present under a cloud; but enormous fortunes—quite as large in proportion to the extent of the industry as in railroads— have been made by the Havermeyers, MoUers and Spreckles in the past; and there is no reason to suppose that the Trust will not be able to make the same profit in the future. One thing to be always remembered is that the time to buy stocks is not when they are up, but when they are down. A twenty points drop, and there are ON the European money markets the scramble for gold still continues and uneasiness for the future still prevails. In London it is anticipated that gold will shortly Ite imported from this country; but at present rates there is apparently no probability of such a contingency. The Bank of France has allowed some of that metal to be exported to England, but according to the latest reports from Paris it is not likely that the movement will continue. The most important influence at present at work in the European money markets, is the resolution to re-establish cash payments, men¬ tioned before in this column, at vsrhich the Austro-Hnngarian gov¬ ernments have arrived. Definite and final arrangements have not been completed; and, indeed, it seems probable that no speedy solution of the difficulty with which Austrian statesmen have wrestled so long will be forthcoming. But the principles in which, the final arrangements will be made have been settled. The ratio of the value of gold and silver is to be based on tbe average of a certain number of years. The Austro-Hungarian Bank, it has been decided, shall convert a portion of its stock of silver, amounting to 166,000,000 florins, into gold. The amount of the silver thus thrown on the market will be 60,000,000 florins, an amount equal to about flve months' purchases of our government. Steps in this direction may soon be expected, and the inevitable result will be drain on all the European markets for gold, as well as on our own, and to keep down the price of silver. Hence it is that some apprehensions for the future exist on all the European money" markets. The Bank of France is tightening its grasp on all of its metal; the Bank of England is not expected to get through the year without raising its rate of discount, and in Berlin, although the banks are strong enough to weather the expected storm, speculators are inactive and prices depressed. In regard to the general commercial conditions there is apparently little change. The Scoteh iron trade is in a temporarily paralyzed state, owing to a disagreement between the masters and their workmen. The struggle promises to be prolonged pretty well to the flrtt of the year, with 'the probability of victory on the side of the employer. The French government is sitting in deliberation on proposed changes in the commercial system of that country. It is said that the Cabinet Council has decided that the general tariff should be a maximum to be reduced in a determined pro¬ portion for those countries which afford commercial advantage to France—a system which, if enacted, would seem to open the way for a reciprocity agreement under the McKinley bill. The inverse system, that of a minimum, to be increased against countries which do not concede favors to France has been aban¬ doned as presenting serious political inconveniences. Whether the general tariff will be retaliatory in character has not trans¬ pired. IN another column will be found an account of tbe last meeting of the Exchange and Auction Room Committee of the Real Estate Exchange, wherein a resolution was proposed by Mr. Rich¬ ard Deeves, apparently with the sanction of a majority of his fellow members, to adopt a new schedule of knock-down fees. It is generally admitted that the revenue which the Exchange receives from auction sales is inadequate—not a few believe very inadequate —and tbere is very little doubt that the adoption of a higher sched¬ ule of charges will receive the support of practically all the mem¬ bers of the Exchange, 'fhe making of an equitable schedule, how¬ ever, wherein the charges shall, in all cases, be in strict proportion to the benefits received, is very far from being an easy task; and that the Exchange has not yet been successful in devising such a schedule, especially where it is apparent that no standard has yet been fixed for measuring the accommodation which the auctioneer pays for; is not to be wondered at. The new schedule increases the fees considerably on all knock-downs for sums over $5,000. The scale is much more minute than formerly, and instead of grouping all sales between $5,000 and $100,000, and exacting a $5 fee for them, the new schedule divides them into amounts which pay $5, $15, and $25, so that now on a sale of $100,000 the Exchange will receive $35. It needs only a glance to show that the new schedule is only roughly graded and follows no very definite plan. For instance, a sale of $10,000 will pay in knock-down fees 1-20 of t per cent; a sale of $50,000 will be about 1-25 of 1 per cent; a sale of $75,000 willbe about 1-30 of 1 per cent; a sale of $100,000 will be about 1-29 of 1 per cent; a sale of $200,000 will be about 1-26 of 1 per cent; a sale of $300,000 will be about 1-24 of 1 per cent; or, looking at the matter in another light, if a real estate owner puts up a piece of property which sells for $25,000 it will coet him $10; if he should get another bid of $25,000 that bid vriW cost him another $10; but supposing some¬ body bids another $25,000, the latter will cost him only $5, while another bid of $25,000 will cost him $10. Or, again, the first $50,000 obtained at a sale produces for the Exchange $20; the next $50,000,