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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 28, no. 69 [i.e. 699]: August 6, 1881

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Real Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. XXYIII NEW YORK, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 1881. No. 69 Published Weekly by The Real Estate Record Association TERMS: ONE TEAR, in advance.....$6.00 Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 137 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. The city was never so full of merchants doing business, as it is to-day. Wholesale merchants report the sales as being excep¬ tionally heavy. The movement of trucks through our streets tells the story of the ac¬ tivity in business. Some of this activity is doubtless due to the low passenger fares and the cutting of rates. Western merchants are tempted to come on east on their sum¬ mer trip, because, if tliey buy now, they can take advantage of the low rates on west¬ bound freight. This may lead to a duller time further on, but, notwithstanding the rate cutting, the railroad returns for the month of August will show that a heavy business has been done. 1881. $128,^34,927 78,291,597 288,861 8,686,307 Ex-President U. S. Grant has clearly made up his mind to become a i-esident of New York. Within the last few days he has pur¬ chased a residence in the finest quarter of tlie city. It is situated No. 3 East Sixty-sixth street, and was the last of seven houses built by Mr. C. W. Luyster. It is a four-story, higli stoop, brown stone building, built on a lot 34x100. The cost is $90,000. New York is the proper headquarters for the great soldier of the war of the rebellion. It is not unlikely that the money paid for this house is a part of the $250,000 which has been raised by the admirers of General Grant to make him comfortable during the rest of his Hfe. present and future wants, and this would involve a new aqueduct. Such of our subscribers as are interested in realty would do well to critically scan the following table: Comjjarative table of Conveyances, etc., from January 1st to August 1st, compared with last year: 1880. Conveyances....... $76,660,776 Mortgages.......... 50,092,80.5 Mechanic's Liens... 215,622 Judgments......... 8,061,819 This, will be remembered, is the showing for seven months, as compared with the seven months of last year. The remarkable feature is this, that during January, Feb¬ ruary and March of 1880 there was quite a speculative movement in real estate; but this cannot be said of any part of the spring of 1881. While the market was a fair one, there was no maiked excitement, and in one re-sale of auction propertv lower prices were bid than in the year before. Yet all this while there was active but quiet buy¬ ing, and large amounts of property have changed hands during the last seven months. Nearly double the amount of property changed hands, as compared with the pre¬ vious year, and the increase of the mort¬ gage indebtedness is very marked. Later in the season, it will be found, that there will be a large increase in Mechanic's Liens. It is notable that there is so small an increase in the sum total of judgments obtained against delinquent debtors. P On the other hand "there is the general feeling that stocks are high, and that Van¬ derbilt is willing to have the railway war go on so that rival enterprises may be discouraged. Then it is a fact that there has been no advance in the market of any account, except when there were gold importations, and these have not yet commenced. It is undeniable that there is a strong undertone to the market, although the latter is dull and transactions are few. It is now probable that speculation proper will go into other products, and that there will be booms in general merchandise and special businesses. It is not unlikely that before the close of the season we will see the Stock Exchange the arena of desperate con¬ flicts between the bulls and bears. The short interest is large and the bearish feeling strong, while there are vast moneyed inter¬ ests arrayed on the side of higher prices. This may lead during [the coming fall and winter to an excited^and variable market. If Governor Cornell were presented with a house on Murray Hill, he would soon become a convert to the necessity of anotlipr aque¬ duct and more water for New York City, Although we have had a year of abundant rains, the central zone of this city is troubled for lack of water. In many cases it cannot be procured above the first floor. House¬ holders are put to the expense and inconve¬ nience of constructing tanks on their upper floors, which every day or two must be flUed with water pumped up from the first story. Thousands of householders pay flOO per an¬ num for labor and material, due to their in¬ adequate supply of water, and the aggregate tax from this cause alone would build a new reservoir within ten years' tiine. Then the legislature was amiss in not pass¬ ing a law requiring the Department of Pub¬ lic Works to prevent the waste of water, by enforcing the use of meters everywhere, ex¬ cept in tenements and dwelling houses. There is a criminal waste of water in this city, but we ought to be able, when it is re¬ quired for any legitimate purposes such as manufacturing, to have all we need for ou^. THE COURSE OF PRICES. In the Real Estate Recorb of June SSth, page 650, will be found the following fore¬ cast of the course of prices during July. There was more in that article to the same effect, but the extract we give shows that we were not far wrong in our estimate of what was going to occur. We quote: The feeling between the fourth of July and the twentieth will be one of great anxiety, with the chances of a lower market. The probabilities ai-e that an impression will prevail that the crops are a failure. It is already very well settled that the harvest abroad will be very large. From every part of Europe come reports to the effect that magnificent crops will be reaped during the coming summer. Our winter wheat crop was certainly injured, and will not be within 30 per cent, of the yield of last year. Spring wheat is late; corn is very backward. There is sure, in any event, to be disappointment, for a compari¬ son with last year and the year before will neces¬ sarily show a large falling off Those were ex¬ traordinary years for crops, and we may not see their like again for a decade. It follows that when, sometime during July, it is fully realized that Europe will not need so much from us, and that our own crops will be deficient compared with last year, there will be disappointment, and a gloomy feeling as to the value of the grain carriers. Hence a " slump " may be looked for, to be followed later on, when the immense government disbursements are due, by higher figures. It is an open secret that the great Ger¬ man bankers predict the highast figures known to Wall street, during August. The question now comes up, will we have a booming market during August? In favor of an advance in prices, are the low rates for money, the heavy disbursements by the government, and the large immigration and extraordinary business activity in alldepart- kinents of trade? FACTS TO BE KEPT IN MIND. Owing to the advance in wages the work¬ ing class have far more money to spend in retail trade than in former years. It is esti¬ mated that the wage and salary receiving class spend $50,000,000 a week more in 1881 than they did in 1878. Consumption this year will necessarily be enormous. This will be due to the full em¬ ployment and good wages of millions of people who did only half work or no work at all during the hard times which followed the panic of 1873. This consumptive de¬ mand will stimulate all manufacturing busi¬ ness. Money is certain to be easy for some time to come, due to the heavy Government dis¬ bursements for the called bonds. Then, our paper money is steadily increasing in value. During July our bank note circulation in¬ creased $2,500,000, and $1,700,000 new silver certificates were issued. Additional curren¬ cy, whether gold, silver or paper, enhances prices and stimulates business. The immigration continues large and is not likely to diminish during the fall, due to the extraordinary demaud for more labor in farm work and railroad building. Stocks have had their boom and labor has had its advance. We may now look for an enhancement of values in all articles manip¬ ulated by human hands. Raw material will continue to be reasonably cheap, due to im¬ proved processes in production; but every article produced by skilled labor wiU continue to rise in prices. Land will soon have its turn. The con¬ tinued prosperity, the desire for better tene¬ ments and the increased ability to purchase homes will soon have its effect upon the price of realty. We are on the eve of the greatest land speculation known to the his¬ tory of this country. This will show itself especially in the centres of population ; and unless all the signs of the times are fallacious, the upheaval in prices will commence next fall.