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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 28, no. 698: July 30, 1881

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Real Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. XXVIII. NEW TOEK, SATUEDAT, JULT '60, 1881 No. 698 Published Weekly by The Real Estate Record Association TERMS: OjVE year, ia advance -.-■•. $6.00 Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 137 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. The Daily papers are talking loosely about the New York Elevated Company breaking the Manhattan lease. There seems to be one fatal objection to this being done just now. In the agreement the Manhattan has ninety days in which to make good its default. There can therefore be no breaking of the lease until the first of October. It is a very difficult thing to wipe out the stock of any road. In all the reconstructions of railway properties from '73 down, there are only two noted instances on record of the wiping out of the stock of a road. One was in the case of the Missouri Paciflc, and the other that of the Boston, Hartford & Erie. The dis¬ credited stock of the latter has, even now, a market value. When the stock of Manhattan becomes low enough, we judge some scheme will be proposed to keep it alive. The stock Mr. Cyrus W. Field sold at from 60 to 70, he will will probably be willing to take back under 15; have also decided not to give authority for building the road up Third avenue, in the Twenty-third Ward, until the money is sub¬ scribed to do thfe work. But is it not time for the Suburban Rapid Transit Company to begin actual work? They are renovating old St. Paul's Church. The upper part of the steeple is to be painted in a sombre hue, and the ball and the weather vane is to be regilt. It is uot in¬ tended to made the old church any hand¬ somer than of yore. When this church was erected, in 1763, Grreenwich street wa;s the bank of the Hudson River and there was an open field from it up to the church. The first sermon in it was preaclied by Rev. Dr. Auchmuty on October 1, 1766. The underground roads do not seem to be making much progress. Meetings are held and projects discussed, but there does not seem to be any money forthcoming. If elevated roads, the most pleasant inter- mural traveling in the world, do not pay, it is absurd to suppose that an immensely costly underground tunnel would make any return upon the enormous capital which would be required to construct it. Nothing has been heard of the Arcade scheme, since Governor Cornell signed the amendments to the Beach charter, which made it possible to work out that splendid scheme. It would cost a great deal of money and that probably is what is the matter. The proposition of William H. Vanderbilt to pay $500,000 for the Roman Catholic Or¬ phan Asylum on Fifth avenue, will, it is said, be accepted. The building is out of place on Fifth avenue, and the money could be better spent elsewhere. If Mr. Vanderbilt makes a fine park out of the block between Fifty-first and Fifty-second streets, Fifth and Madison avenues, it will no doubt be laid out in the most artistic hianner. It cannot help but be partly public and of course will not bo enclosed so that its beauties canno* be seen. Mr. John C. McCarthy, the Treas¬ urer of the Asylum, admits that au offer has been made and says it would be a good thing for the city, as it would add to the taxable ground. ■------------♦-•-*--------------- The new Rapid Transit Commission seems to have come to the conclusion that a rapid transit road must not be constructed over the present Tliird Avenue bridge. They money, but the owner of unincumbered real estate on this island or across the Harlem, will leave a heritage to his children that will constantly increase in value. A COMPARISON. The following table shows the amounts involved in the real estate sales and mort¬ gages from January 1st to July 23d for the last six years. The figures are accurate, as they are taken directly from our official files of conveyances and mortgages, published in the Real Estate Record: CONVEYANCES. MOKTOAOES. 1876.......... $.53,416,'3H3 $43,495,739 1877.......... 44,609,463 6l;i54,752 1878.......... 45,277,813 23,571,271 1879.......... 49,712,123 23,948,781 1880.......... 75,314,339 49,103,0i2 1881.......... 126,848,667 76,775,118 The above tells the story of the activity in real estate in New York city during the past two years. In 1877 real estate struck low water mark in New York. It is a nota¬ ble circumstance that in that year the mort¬ gages reached a very high figure; but the foreclosure suits culminated that year, and the two following years the new mortgages amounted to less than $24,000,000 a year, against $61,000,000 in 1877. The tide turned in 1879, when the official purchases are re¬ corded at about $50,000,000; in 1880 they in¬ creased to over $75,000,000, and during the same period this year up to nearly $127,000,- 000. Of course these figures do not tell the whole story, as there are many large transactions where the pi-ice is kept secret or reported as nominal. This perhaps is offset in a measure by other rei)orted sales, in which a figure above the true one is given. It is, however, safe to infer, that for the first six months of this year, property worth $140,000,000 changed hands. Although we are in midsummer, the con¬ veyances and mortgages show that large transactions are taking place. Investors realize thei*e is but a limited amount of land on this island, and that in the not distant future, all parts of it will be in active de¬ mand for residences and business purposes. The North River tunnel will add enormously to the warehouse demands on this island. The two Brooklyn bridges will still further concentrate business between the two rivers, while every addition of wealth and popula¬ tion to the United States adds to the com¬ mercial importance of this port. The stock, mining, and produce exchanges of New ^York are good places in which to lose WILL THE DEPRESSION AFFECT REAL ESTATE? The bullet of Guiteau broke the backbone of the bull speculation, and since the 2d of July the market has been a bear one. The prices of all the active stocks have been marked down from 15 to 23 points; the shrinkage of values op this market alone amounts to more than $200,000,000. While the assault upon the President was the excuse for the set back in the markets, the real cause was that stocks were too high in view of the prospective business of the country. The severe winter and stormy spring seriously interfered with the traffic of the leading Western coads; it increased their expenditures and reduced their in¬ comes. Then, the crops were affected. For the last two years the harvests have been extraordinarily large ; this year they will be less than the average, so the I'ailroads, in addition to the losses of last winter, have be¬ fore them a season in which there will be a smaller return from the carrying of grain. Stocks may have been unduly depressed, and it is very certain that after a while, with reason or without reason, there wUl be a re¬ bound in prices. Indeed the market on Thursday and Friday showed great strength. But will this depression in the stock mar¬ ket affect real estate this coming fall? Clearly not. The bulling of stocks last sprmg did not affect the real estate market. Indeed all the products and manufactures of the country sold at low rates, while the secu¬ rities on the Stock Exchange were being marked up. Our wheat, corn, petroleum, cotton and other exportable articles seldom brought lower figures than during the crop season from '80 to '81. But the time will come when it is inevitable that an enhance¬ ment of prices will take place in general merchandise, labor and real estate. The probabilities now are that everything wUl rule higher than during the past year, ex¬ cept alone stocks. There is a better feeling in iron and other metals. Grain will be dearer. Manufactured goods of aU kinds will be enhanced in value, labor wiU be bet¬ ter paid, and as a matter of course land will feel the effects of the swelling tide of values. People should discriminate. We may have stock panics which may not have any effect upon the general trade of the country, in¬ deed they may be beneficial; for the money withdrawn from stock speculation is often put into legitimate business to the benefit of all concerned. Bull movements in stocks are generally the first symptoms of a revival in trade, but bear attacks upon the market are wholesome, as they prevent an absorp¬ tion of the money of the country into doubt¬ ful securities. It is an open question whether there is not too much building going on. Our centres of