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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 26, no. 644: July 17, 1880

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Real Estate Record AND BUILDERS^ GUIDE. YoL. XXYI. NEW TOEK, SATUKDAT, JULY 17, 1880. No. 644 Published Weekly by Clje Seal €bMz Mitoxti S^ssonatbii. TERMS. ONE YEAR, in advance__SIO.OO. Communications should be addressed to C. AV. SWEET, No. 1-37 Broadway -THE OUTLOOK IN REAL ESTATE. "What of the fall business?" That, now, is the question among those anxious to bridge over the sultry season. Anticipations run high, very high, among those whose ideas in regard to real estate are worth listening to. And yet it is a fallacy to suppose that any wild era of specula¬ tion will set in during the coming autumn. Of oue thing we may assure our readers, that any one who has a good house to sell, in an eligible locality, will be able to dispose of it advantage¬ ously during the fall season, for there is every indication now that, owing to the constant in¬ crease of population, there will be an unprece¬ dented demand for houses. As to vacant lots, some little time will probably have to elapse be¬ fore the views of holders and buyers can be reconciled. It looks, owing to the increased scarcity of the number of lots on Manhattan Island, as if holders will ultimately get what they ask, but it will not be in the fall. Time will be necessary to educate investoi-s up to the actual market value, and it may be spring before that is accomplished. The outlook certainly is very flat¬ tering and, judging by the reports that reach us from Newport, Saratoga and Long Branch, where so many capitalists are now sojourning, there appears to be once more a general desire on their part to invest in real estate. The opinion also seems to prevail, that he who invests now will find his profits accruing during the next five and six years. Certain it is, that during that period, at least, there will not be a decline of prices for Manhattan Island lots, if, indeed, there will not be a rise sooner than is now anticipated, when the decision in regard to the site of the World's Pair is announced during the coming fall months. It was an extraordinary event in the history of the real estate market, when, on a scorching day like Tuesday last, the Exchange Salesroom was crowded with bidders and buyers, all anxious to secure the business aud tenement property on the East Side. The crowded attendance, though not by any means improving the not over-pleasant atmosphere of the low room, nevertheless acted like a charm upon the regular habitues of the market, and their hopes for the future rose as high if not higher than the mercury, --------------. f »I— »—.—. To cripple the resources of financial institutions or largo corporations does not only injure those concerns but leads to ultimate dismay and disas¬ ter in business circles. This is what the constant tinkering with the tax laws of this State will lead to. To escape undue taxation has been from time immemurial a principle of self-preservation not onlj on the part of individuals but also of corpora¬ tions. Modern commerce depends to a large extent upon facilities obtained from financial institutions and if these latter are crippled, com¬ merce must also suffer. It is indeed a pity to see for instance the renewed attempts of the tax commissioners to enforce the spirit of a law which the United States Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional. The new law, passed during the last session of the legislature, is said to be almost identical with the law of 1866, and hence in endeavoring to resist the enforcement of a law which is not valid, no fault can be found with the banks of New York. For years they have tamely submitted to an unjust law and their combined capital, during that time, was reduced $26,000,000. This loss of capital injures business generally, and it will not come back until there is an end to the confused condition of the State laws. Why can there not in this Empire Stafee, where so much intelligence is centred, be found sufficient talent to create a system of tax-laws as generous as those enacted in the younger Western States ? There, everything is done to invite capital. Here, everything is done to repel it. How much longer this Empire State must uphold such ruinous principles is a question well worthy the attention of bodies like the Chamber of Commerce, so that the people will see and understand how important it is to have able men at Albany, as, after all, it is only the legislature that can give relief. Though the official figures of the city census have not yet been announced, enough is known to show the percentages of increase in certain localities. As population always brings along wealth and a demand for ground and dwellings, it will be interesting to holders of real estate to show the growth of certain wards since 1870. The Nineteenth and Twenty-second wards are the banner wards. The increase in the popula¬ tion of the Nineteenth is 73,266, or 85 per cent.; that in the Twenty-second 45,917, or 45 per cent. The increase in the Twelfth Ward is 34,989. The region lying between Fortieth street and Twenty- sixth street, known as the Twentieth and Twenty- first wards, has increased 22,289, almost equally divided between the two wards. The increase from Twenty-sixth street to Fourteenth street, going east and west, is only 11,000, while the sec¬ tion lying below Fourteenth street to Houstou street, east and west, including a vast tenement population, has increased 21,000. Of course, in the lower wards there is no perceptible increase, there being a falling off in the Fourth Ward to the extent of nearly 3,000, while again there is an increase in the First Ward amounting to over 2,000. This must be attributed to the large num¬ ber of new buildmgs where janitors and their families reside, and form a unique population, who look upon the Battery as their Central Par^ The condition of our great thoroughfare, dur¬ ing the two midday hours of the excessively hot summer weather we now experience, ought to set people a thinking what is required to, at least, provide some shade along Broadway between twelve and two o'clock. During these two hours it is absolutely dangerous to walk any length of time along that street, so fierce are the rays of the sun, v/ith no shady side anywhere. The street is too wide to be shaded at the noonhour by the stately buildings and too narrow to permit the planting of trees. Why, then, not have uni¬ versal recourse once more to the old-fashioned awning, which, though it may be a relic of the bygone days of New Amsterdam, nevertheless would guard the health of our active generation, whose brains are, at least, worth protecting as much as those of our Dutch ancestors. The decreased amount of liabilities for the first six months of ISSO, as furnished by Dun, Barlow & Co., is certainly a subject of congratulation for the business community. To know that mer¬ chants throughout the Union have lost in the ag¬ gregate only $33,000,000 during the past six months, against 565,000,000 during the same period of 1879, and $130,000,000 in the same period of 1878, is certainly reassuring and im¬ plies a very excellent condition of prosperity. Nevertheless, there is not that pro rata decrease in the amount of liabilities that we might expect from the decreased number of failures, and, singular to say, for the second quarter of ISSO the average liability is actually higher than that of 1879, namely, $1S,8S4 for this year, against $14,- 776 for last year. The average liability for the whole year of 1S78, one of the very worst, was only $21,000. While, therefore, there has been a diminution in the sum total of losses, it seems to us to be as yet a debateable question whether we have yet arrived at a period where credits can be safely extended so long as the amount lost by an individual failure remains at about the same ratio as it was during a time of general de¬ pression. ------.ruiiiMi «t» TELEGRAPH POLES AS REAL ESTATE. The opinion of Attorney-General Ward upon the novel question whether telegraph poles are to be assessed as real estate will probably llud general acceptance. The learned attorney-general says : " It is entirely clear to my mind that these telegraph structures are ' articles erected upon and affixed to the land,' so as to create an interest therein, and are, to the extent of the value there¬ of, kmd of the telegraph company erecting them, and as such liable to taxation. And it is the duty of the assessors of the several towns and wards of this State to assess the same as land to the value thereof, so far as any of their lines extend through their resi^ective assessment districts. I have given the question which you have presented careful consideration, for the reason, that as far as I have been able to discover, no decision upon the precise question before us has been made by any of the courts of this State, and the question therefore is a new on 3. I am greatly aided, how¬ ever, in reaching this conclusion by the opinion of the Court of Appeals in People ex ret., etc., v. CassUy, 46 N. Y. 46, which holds iu this language: " The term ' lands' as used in the statute in relation to assessment and taxation (1 R. S. 360, § § 1, 2), includes such an interest in real estate as will protect the erection, or affixing, and posses¬ sion of buildings and fixtures thereon, though un¬ accompanied by the fee, and such interest with the buildings and fixtures may be assessed to the owner thereof.' See, also, 74 N. Y. 365, and 52 Barb. 105. It is also held in People ex rel. New York Elevated Hailway Ournpany v. Commissionei's of Taxes, decided by General Term, First Depart¬ ment, and reported in 19 Hun, 46Q, that '•founda¬ tions for piers or columns placed in a public street