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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 28, no. 705: September 17, 1881

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Real Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. XXVIII NEW YOKK, SATUEDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1881. No. 705 Published Weekly by The Real Estate Record Association TERMS: ONE YEAR, in advance.....$6.00 Commimications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 137 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY. Busmess Manager. The following table tells its own story. It gives the number of conveyances, mortgages, etc., in New York city, for the week ending and including Wednesday, September 14. Agents and investors interested irj. real estate will find these figures from week to week valuable : N, Y. City Am't. No, No,, 23d & Am't, Conveys, involved. Nominal, 24th Wards, involved. 75 $809,074 25 12 $25,450 Mort- Am't. No.. Five Am't, No. toT. & Am't, gages, involved, per ct, involved. Ins, Cos. involved. 108 $798,153 13 $324,700 17 $227,900 Mr. B. B. Valentine, now a resident of this city, formerly lived in New Zealand. "While there he become interested in the Torrens land law, which is in vogue in that prosper¬ ous colony of Great Britain. He speaks of it as being the most perfect land law known to any nation. The title to all property is absolutely secure, for it is guaranteed by the government. There is no such thing as searching a title. When C buys of B, he does not trouble himself about the title of A. It is sufficient for him to know that B was in possession with a government war¬ rantee. Mr. Valentine looks upon our land laws as a relict of barbarism. Their only value is to pile up lawyers' bills, support needless ofS.cials, and promote unnecessary, costly and wasteful litigation. A land title in New Zealand is as negotiable as a bond or certificate of railway stock is with us. Mr. Valentine, who is an Englishman, is sur¬ prised at the siipineness of the American public in not adopting the land laws which have proved so useful, so cheap and so safe in the colonies of the British empire in the Southern seas. It is somewhat remarkable that the open¬ ing of a railway line through Staten Island has not added anything to the local attrac¬ tiveness of the country through which it passes. There is considerable busiuess to this road from people who live in Perth Am¬ boy, and wi.^h to reach New York by a short route, but one is struck by the desolation of the scene after riding the first half mile from Clifton. The country seems deserted; land which would make good orchards or past¬ ure, is left to grow wild and produce noth¬ ing but weeds and brush. The railway stations are mere frame sheds, and there does not seem to have been a new house built or a new farm opened since the rail¬ road was first put ia operation. Of course the trouble with Staten Island is malaria. Fully two-thirds of that beauti¬ ful region is unfit for human habitations. It is true that some people can reside with im¬ punity in its poisonous atmosphere, but two persons out of every three who reside on the easterly or southerly side of Staten Island, are pretty sure to have the "shakes." Yet it is one of the most beautiful islands the sun ever shown upon. Its surface is rolling, iti scenes picturesque, its drives delightful. The land seenis to have been designed by nature for the rich villas of wealthy New Yorkers. The northwest portion of the island is free from malaria; there have been few cases of chills and fever at Brighton. Various plans have been proposed for drain¬ ing Staten Island, but they were all so costly that the local landowners wiU not spend their money in making the necessary im¬ provements, especially as it is doubted whether the island can be thoroughly drained. Sometime no doubt an effort will be made to drain this beautiful island. It would be a splendid speculation to buy the land at its present price and resell it when the malaria was banished from its soil. IS REAL ESTATE HIGH? An active real estate dealer complains that property has already advanced so much in New York that people refuse to purchase. There are many men who would like busi¬ ness property, but there is none in the mar¬ ket except at very high figures. Lots and houses east of the Central Park and west of Lexington avenue, are held at prices which, this agent say.s, afford no margin for the investor. There are j)lenty of vacant lots, but they are held at figures which prudent men hesitate to offer for them. There is something in this complaint. New York realty is in strong hands, and aU desirable improved and vacant property is not to be had, except at figures which seem high compared with tlie quotations of four years ago. The rise has been gradual, scarcely perceived,, indeed. There has been no boom or excitement, but quotations have been marked up without any speculative furor. There really does not seem much margin of profit in the unimproved prop¬ erty in the neighborhood of where building is going on. In Harlem, Manhattanville and west and north of the Central Park, there are still plenty of vacant lots which can be bad at reasonable rates, but they are in neighborhoods remote from the line of improvement, and which are not likely to be built over for several years to come. The question now with real estate agents is, will there be a strong market this faU in New York city property ? That prices are going higher goes without saying, but whether the market will show any particular activity is what is puzzUng operators. A real speculation, accompanied by an eager demand, will advance New York cifcy lots to unheard-of figures. This will come some day, but will it be this fall or next spring or the foUowing year? Whoever can tell will make his fortune, provided he has some money and knows how to invest it wisely. It is quite true that choice business prop- ,erty ift New York commands high figures; but then this island is destined to be more densely populated than any spot on earth. The business house of the future will be an immense building, filled with offices, ten and twelve stories high. The homes of great numbers who live on this island, will be in the apartment house, vast structures which will comfortably lodge and house thousands of people on a comparatively small piece of ground. Iu the coming era of large build¬ ings, the land of New York island will be¬ come exceptionally valuable. It is no wonder then that in view of the future, holders of realty should stick to it through evil and good report. There is no surer fortune to leave to our children, than unencumbered realty on this island or in the two wards north of the Harlem river. New York can grow only in one direction, and the march of the population northward can be foreseen and easily' calculated. In the future history of the city as in the past, many a man who will be ruined in his busi¬ ness, will find that the neglected real estate he owned will save him from ^extreme poverty. Although many investors and some real estate agents believe that property on this island is dear, once let a speculative move¬ ment set in and very high figures witL be scored. There is as yet a large margin on the West Side for an advance, and the day cannot be distant when houses and lots will be in as eager demand by investors as now are stocks and bonds. EENTS AND HOUSES IN NEW YORK. A reporter of the Real Estate Record has been making a thorough canvass among the real estate brokers as to the condition of the rent market this fall. The result of the various interviews may be summarized as foUows: I. The demand for houses is far ahead of the supply; the brokers cannot begin tc satisfy all who are seeking eUgible places in which to live. II. The houses most in request are the very costly ones. The demand seems to come from the new rich made so by busi¬ ness a,nd speculation during the past year, and by people from outside New York who have come here to settle temporarUy or per¬ manently. III. The locations most in favor are the fashionable parts of the island, Fifth and Madison avenues, the region of the central zone of the city above Forty-second street and between Fifth and Lexington avenues, being ia special request. I^IV. There is a remarkable dearth of weU- located furnished houses. There seems to be a large class of rich people from other parts of the country, who wish to reside in New York to see if they wiU remain here permanently, and hence do not care to fur¬ nish their houses. V. Suites in good apartment houses are also in demand, whUe in hotels the number of family boarders was never so large. , Of course, it goes without saying that in.