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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 27, no. 669: January 8, 1881

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EAL Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. XXVII. NEW YOEK, SATUEDAY, JANUARY 8, 1881. No. 669. Published Weekly by TERMS. ONE YEAR, in advance....SIO.OO. Communications should be addressed to C. W. S"WEET, No. 137 Broadway OUR ANNUAL MARKET REVIEW, With this week's issue of The Record, our reporters present their regular annual review of tiie markets for building materials, with comparisons of prices, statistics of receipts, shipments, etc. Even to those not directly interested, they furnish many items of an attractive character. The prominent fea¬ tures are to be found, in the absence of the violent fluctuations during the year 1879, a fair margin for profit during pretty mucli the entire season, and a liberal increase in the volume of business, not only on local account, but in distribution to dependent points. Speculation, with few exceptions, has been frowned down ; sellers have ac¬ cepted a reasonable return, and so preserved confidence among buyers as to stimulate an immense consumption. Supply and demand were at a pretty close balance during a large portion of the season, and of a few of the leading articles there is an unusually small accumulation for winter use. Dealers ah'eady commence to feel the influences of the coming season, and negotiations in hand indicate preparations for liberal amounts of work as soon as the weather permits. ! road Company to construct the Second I ayenue bridge. The delay has been caused because of the necessity for some amend¬ ments to the charter. Already gangs of men are at work laying out the three branches of railroad in the Twenty-third ward to connect w^ith "this bridge. In the meantime numerous plans are on foot to erect buildings for workingmen in the Twenty-thu-d and Twenty-fourth wards. Mr. Leonard Jerome is associated with sev¬ eral capitalists who have in view the erec¬ tion of small houses, with gardens attached, in the picturesque and healthful region to be traversed by the nev/ railway, extending from High Bridge to Fordham Heigh iis. The close of the year 1881 will see trains running regularly over the bridge near High Bridge, and before the next race season Jerome Park can be reached by rail via the Metropolitan Elevated. The Second avenue bridge will also be constructed, and not only wiU the Portchester trains on the New Haven road be connected with the Second avenue road, but the line to Mount Vernon will be an important feeder to the same railroad. RAPID TRANSIT IN THE 23d AND 24th WARDS. The bridge over the Harlem River, which is to connect the Metropolitan Elevated with the New York & Northern Railway, will be completed before the 15th of February. This is stated upon the authority of Mr. Galloway, President of the New York & Northern Rail¬ road. The bridge at Eighth avenue will be three hundred feet span. The draw is being constructed in accordance with plans ap¬ proved by General Newton. Upon the com¬ pletion of the bridge, travelers for Boston by the new route, via Brewster Station, can get tickets at any of the stations of the Metropolitan road. Another effect of the opening of this bridge will be the commencement of a rail¬ road, a mile and a half long, to connect it with Jerome Park. All that high ridge of land lying between High Bridge and Ford¬ ham Heights will be at once utilized for building purposes. The new road will run from Morris Docks to Jerome Park. The coming year wUl witness the erection of still another bridge over the Harlem at the end of Madison avenue. The Suburban Rapid Transit Company has associated itself with the New Haven Rail- THREE PER CENT. GOVERNMENTS. In view of the discussion now going on as to whether it is possible for the Government of the United States to successfully float a three per cent, loan, the following considera¬ tions should be kept in sight: The United States is a young country and needs all the money it can get to develop its resources. There are tenipting openings for business in every direction. We have a continent to subdue, mines to open, towns to build, farms to clear, railroads to con¬ struct and all these enterprises require cap¬ ital. We shall be in the market as borrow¬ ers for many years to come. As a conse¬ quence, normally, money ought to be worth naore here than in the countries of Euiope. There their resources are developed. They have large capital and but few means of making use of it, of utilizing it. Hence money naturally at the principal Bourses rules low. A foreigner does not know what to do to profitably employ his means. Great Britain has a public debt known as consols. It is a perpetual debt. That is, he who buys a portion of it gets an annuity. It has a high market value because if is an annuity, for the Government must purchase the shares in the open market, they never becoming due. Such a debt is the most attractive that can be offered to an investor. The policy of the United States is different. We pay our debts at the end of a certain fixed period, five, ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty or forty years, as the case may be, the longer bonds always commanding a higher price than the short time bonds. As a matter of fact, English consols have rarely touched par. They did so during Novemher for an exceptional rea¬ son. Their average quotation would be somewhere between -f 97 and |98. They pay three per cent. Therefore an investor will generally get something more than three per cent, for his money in that very wealthy nation, which lias so large an amount of funds to loan. It is now seriously proposed for us to issue a three per cent. Government bond which shall not be sold for less than par. We do not believe that any consider¬ able amount of bonds at that rate can be floated in this country. Something less than three hundred million of our bonds are pay¬ able this year. May it not be that persons who are receiving five and six per cent, are behind this proposition, to try and float an unmarketable bond so as to continue the in¬ terest for a year or two longer ? Certain it is that no three per cent, bond terminable in twenty or thirty years, can ever remain at par for any long period in this country. We have too many uses for money in securities and investments which pay far better. But the effect of this endeavor to float a three per cent, loan is wholly mischievous. This unnatural cheapening of money and "bul¬ ling" of Government bonds, gives an im¬ mense stimulus to speculation in other secur¬ ities already altogether too active. It creates an unnatural inflation of values and the result wiU be, sometime, a most disas¬ trous national panic. The balloon wiU be pricked and the gas will escape, and then will come a collapse. The advance in prices has been too great; it has been unnatural. We have all along believed that good rail¬ way securities would command higher fig¬ ures this year than ever before in history. We believe that next year they will in time command, and permanently, still higher figures, but the recent advance has been too rapid and cannot be maintained, and the chief danger is in this stimulus of cheap money, made sp artificially by the Govern¬ ment and the whole speculative interest of the country. We do not believe that a three per cent, bond is practicable, and if it was we do not think it desirable. Three per cent, money means four and four and a half for investment in real estate, and that business ought to pay better. The person who is en¬ gineering this in Washington is Fernando Wood, and we submit that he is not a wise leader to follow. MAYOR GRACE. Ou?* new Mayor has proved a successful man of affairs, and he brings to the office capacity, energy, ambition and thorough business habits. Unfortunately the Mayor of New York is seriously limited in his capa¬ city for Tisefulness. The aim of legislators seems to have been to protect us from bad Mayors; instead of giving us the benefit of the imelligeace and energy of good ones. Hence.our chief magistrates are hedged