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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 28, no. 709: October 15, 1881

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Real Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. XXYIII. NEW YOEK, SATUEDAY, OCTOBEE 15, 1881. No. 709 Published Weekly by The Real Estate Record Association TERMS: ONE YEAR, in advance.....$6.00 Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 13T Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. There is a common remark that so and so, who f ormally^had a bad reputation, is now so rich that he can afford to be honest. This, however, is contradicted in every case where a dishonest speculator wishes to make a deal, no matter how i-icli he may be. William H. Vanderbilt has not scrupled to deceive his friend^ and tlie public Avhen a great stoclc speculation was on hand. It was his ow^n associates who lost the most money in his Western Union deal wlien he sold out to Jay Gould. Cyrus W. Field is a very rich man, but look at his course in the 'elevated road system and the sale of Manhattan stock. Jay Gould is the latest instance. He not only used his organ, the World, to show how utterly worthless w^as Manhattan, but he and Sage made affidavits that the stock was val¬ ueless in their opinion. This was to api^ar- ently prevent tlie issue of receivers certifi¬ cates. Yet when Gould was thus deceiving investors and inducing short sales, he was quietly buying up the stock and within ten days after he had made his solemn oath that Manhattan was worthless, he was the owner of a majority of the stock. Hundreds, if not thousands, of small operators have lost a great deal of money by the way Gould has acted in this one security. Many an lion- ester man tlian these leaders of the street is now serving his time out in our states prisons. Once a rascal, always a rascal, whether he is worth ten cents or a hundred million. Jay Gould has the press of the country by the throat through his control of the telegraph, and hence nothing is said. Our readers will recall the fact the Real Estate Record has always said that Manhattan stock would not bo wiped out and that the rich rogues who were decrying it were secretly buying it up, and such has proved to be the case. such marked advance as has been seen on this island. People who deal in real estate should pick out the choicest properties their .means can afford. In nineteen cases in twenty when a parcel of land is cheap it is undesirable. Better have one good lot well located than two lots or even four in a back¬ ward neighborhood. A few lots on this island will be of more permanent value than a corresponding number of acres on the op¬ posite shore of the Hudson River. Some time since attention was called in these columns to the recovery of prices in New York City realty. We instanced a case of a large real estate legal firm, whose clients apparently lost heavily in West Side build¬ ing lots because of the shrinkage in values after the panic of 1873. Property which cost $15,000 was marked down to $8,000 and under in 1877. But the same lots to-day show a profit of from 15 to 35 per cent, over the original investment. All who were able to hold their property on this island came out largely ahead. Brooklyn realty owners have not been so lucky. Lots were offered last week at auction which came far short of the taxes and assessments. There has been some and, in a few cases, a fair recovery in values on the other side of the East Eiver, but no The talk about additional park facilities has resulted in a scheme for having a pleasure ground in the Tw'enty-f ourth Ward, extending from Highbridge to a point be¬ yond Hastings, ten miles in length and 3,000 feet wide. This gigantic park is to embrace 3,500 acres. It will be 5,000 feet distant from the Hudson river and there is to be an east and a west side avenue, each 150 feet wide. The ground will cost about $1,000 an acre, or $3,500,000 in all. Should this magnificent scheme be carried out, the present dulness in real estate north of the Harlem river, would be followed by very great activity. But as yet it is only a scheme, aud may never amount to anything, ------------<•>------------ We called attention some time ago to the remarkable change that was to take place in New^ York in the construction of large, in the place of small or moderate sized houses. The way things are going on, New York wull soon have a greater number of vast build¬ ings than any city in the world. These great structures are not for business i)iirposes merely, but are intended for dwellings. Great flats and apartment houses have be¬ come an essential feature of New York City life. It is noticeable that all the new build¬ ings ou Broadway are both deep and high. One or more elevators have become an indis¬ pensable adjunct to new houses on this island. It follows that the time is coming when there will be more people to the square foot in this city than in any of the other capitals of the world. Our street pop¬ ulation will, as a consequence, become denser than in any other city. New York will, in appearance at least, in ten years time be the most populous city on the globe. It no longer pays to erect a small house in a valuable location. To get a good interest, a large edifice with many offices or apartments must be constructed. While the fashion for large houses at present diminishes the de¬ mand for, and consequently the price of, unimproved real estate, it will eventually lead to very high prices in all eligible loca¬ tions, either for business or living purposes. Where population becomes dense, land must necessarily become high. tary of the Treasury, Jones will be supreme in that department. It is believed that Ros¬ coe Conkling will eventually be the Secre¬ tary of the Treasury, but it is not consid¬ ered wise for him to take office just yet. It is understood that this fadmimstration will be inimical to Jay Gould. The President, Roscoe Conkling, and Senator Jones have come in antagonism with Gould ih several transactions. The new President takes no stock in the anti-monopoly cry; he is a friend of the great corporations. The above infor¬ mation is based on excellent authority. Private advices from Washington are to the effect that the most influential advisor of the new administration will be Senator John P. Jones, of Nevada. Jones has a sec¬ ond self in an Englishman, named Robert¬ son, who writes Jones's speeches and re¬ ports. If Timothy O. Howe is made Secre- THE COURSE OF PRICES. It is a truism among those who have studied tlze course of prices, that when there is a revival of business, it is Stock Exchange securities which are first affected, then gene¬ ral merchandise, labor and land coming last of all. An expansion in prices, whether gradual or sudden, is in consequence of, or accompanied by an increase in the volume of the currency. It makes no difference what the currency is, papier, silver or gold, money is the measure of prices. The vast additions of bullion, especially gold, to the paper money in use before 1879, have given us an advancing market for nearly every¬ thing for two years and seven months. Stocks were first affected; next came labor. The active speculation in corn, wheat and the metals shows that the fever has got into the veins of trade. It cannot be long before the speculative activity will manifest itself vigorously in real estate. Last June we warned builders and con¬ tractors that labor, and all the products of labor, would soon show a large advance in prices. The increased demand for work¬ people came soonsr than expected, due, how¬ ever, to excessive building. But here we are in the second month of the fall season, with the prices of all material showing an advance over the figures obtained last spring. Nor do we see any immediate prospect of average lower prices for labor, or of anything which labor manipulates. It is in times such as these that everybody may be said to be making money. The com¬ petition is not among would-be sellers, but among buyers. Every one sees, or thinks he sees a profitln the business he is engaged in, and he is eager to employ labor and to lay in stocks of raw material. It follows that the bank accounts of the saving class are in¬ creasing. In such times, even if business men have not any ready money, the steady growth of their assets makes them feel easy, and hence they purchase more than in ordin¬ ary times. A continuance of this steady employment of labor and enhancement in values, inevitably ends in a furore for pur¬ chasing real estate. As soon as a man makes money, he wishes to secure himself a home, and, on the first intimation of hard times, timid capitalists put their money into real property. This is why real estate " booms " up to the very beginning of a panic, and it also explains why it is real estate values are , 80 stubborn in periods of 4 financial j^ disaster