crown CU Home > Libraries Home
[x] Close window

Columbia University Libraries Digital Collections: The Real Estate Record

Use your browser's Print function to print these pages.

Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 29, no. 732: March 25, 1882

Real Estate Record page image for page ldpd_7031128_029_00000287

Text version:

Please note: this text may be incomplete. For more information about this OCR, view About OCR text.
Real Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. XXIX NEW TORK, SATURDAY, MARCH 25, 1882. No. 732 Published Weekly by The Real Estate Record Association TERMS; ONE YEAR, in advance.....$6.00 Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, ISr Broadway J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Work on the great apartment house on Eighth avenue is to be suspended, it is re¬ ported, on account of the extravagant de¬ mands of the bricklayers and other laborers heretofore employed. Nor will the erection of the proposed thirty-eight houses on Seventy-third street be commenced this spring by Mr. 'Clark if the workmen persist in demanding increased wages. The Record was the first to announce the stoppage of work on the new opera house and the hotel on the corner of Broadway and Thirty-ninth street. It is to be regretted that anything would put a stop to building operations in this city. The growth of our population and business j^demand increased accommoda¬ tions, and laborers hurt themselves in many ways by asking too much. It advances their own house rents, for less tenements are erected, a fact the landlord takes advantage of to advance the price of his apartments. It is to be hoped that some satisfactory basis will be arrived at between builders and those they employ, so that the work of building up the city can keep right on. Mayor Low declines to appoint a Rapid Transit Commission until the Legislature has passed a law compensating owners of property, who think they will be injured by an elevated road. If Mayor Low can get any such law passed, that will be the end of rapid transit in Brooklyn. It is hard that property owners should not receive compen¬ sation for actual damage, but it is still harder that a needed improvement, of vital moment to a great community, should be stopped be¬ cause of the damage done to a very small sec¬ tion of the city. The solution of the diffi¬ culty would be for the city of Brooklyn it¬ self to undertake the work, compensating the pioperty holders foi damage done, or the city at large, in view of the increased taxable area made by the elevated road, might shoulder the bills for damages. The papers have been telling lately about the immense benefactions of the Misses Burr. It seems their father, Mr. Isaac Burr, became the involuntary possessor of a great deal of New York real estate. Persons who owed him money.had nothing to give him but realty; but the land thus forced upon him laid the foundations of a noble fortune, for it was well situated, and at this late day enables his daughters to distribute literally millions of dollars to noble and worthy charities. There are just as many chances to-day as there were in his time. New York is growing with greater rapidity than at any time in its history, and land on this island will in time be more valuable than anywhere else^on earth. Of course in some localities the advance will be greater than in others, but the law governing such cases is well know to aU real estate dealers. The rule is to purchase property just in ad¬ vance of improvement. Many a lender and institution which was forced to buy in prop¬ erty between 1873 and 1879 will find them selves ^enormously rich because of it before the close of the century. The Grand Jury have very properly re¬ fused to indict O. B. Potter. The clamor against this gentleman by the press is dis¬ graceful. If he was to blame, then three- fourths of the landlords in New York ought to be in jail. He was not blameless, but he has suffered sufficiently in purse and repu¬ tation for his shortcomings. To have tried him would have been pure persecution. CONDITION OF THE STREET. The stock market is a puzzle to the oldest operators. It continues strong in the Van¬ derbilt and Gould stocks, as well as in cer¬ tain specialties. But there is a suspicion that the stiffening in prices is not due to any general demand from the general pub¬ lic, but merely on account of the generous purchases of Mr. Gould, Mr. Vanderbilt and the great associated interests engaged in railway promoting and building. The most powerful influences in the country are in¬ terested in a steady, if not rising, market, and hence the financial support which the leaders of the street are getting in discom- fitting the bears. Tlien there are co-opera¬ tive influences. Stocks have been low com¬ pared with the prices of last year ; the im¬ migration is enormous, far exceeding any previous influx of foreigners, and money is very easy both here and in Europe. It is not unreasonable to suppose, too, that foreigners are again buying our securities. But then there is a reverse side to the picture. The grain traffic from the interior to the Atlantic is steadily decreasing in amount. There is so little going abroad that grain-carrying ships are willing to take it for ballast. Navigation vt^ill soon open, and it matters little what the rates for freight are, many cars will remain idle on the tracks for lack of custom. There is no general cause at work which gives any addi¬ tional value to railway shares. Another ominous sign is the steady contraction of the National Bank currency, which has been going on since January 1. This is due to the constant calling in of the Government bonds. The issues of silver certificates are being withdrawn, and exchange is so high that we will inevitably begin to export gold coin in large quantities during the later spring months. Should Europe again be in¬ duced to buy our stocks and bonds, it will stop the drain of gold, but nothing else will, as the balance of trade is heavily against us. Still, the feeling for the present is bullish, and every one believes we are bound to have a large crop this year, which will make matters all right. So long as this hopefu feeling obtains, the stock market will be sustained. Early in the season we ventured to predict heavy fluctuations in the stock market, and we are stiU of opinion that speculators who sell when eveiybody is buy¬ ing and buy when everybody is selling, will make the most money. SOME GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS. That the country is gaining in population veiry rapidly cannot be doubted. We have passed through three years of exceptional prosperity. In such times marriages multi¬ ply, and famUies become more prolific. It is quite safe to assert that the ratio of in¬ crease from 1880 to 1890 will be far greater than the ratio from 1870 to 1880 ; yet in that period our population increased from 38,000,- 000 to over 50,000,000. Unless war, pesti¬ lence or famine interfere, 1890 ought to see us with a population of from 65,000,000 to 66,000,000. To add to our numbers, an im¬ mense immigration has set in which shows no signs of abatement. These great addi¬ tions to our population insure a demand for real estate, especially in the large cities, for, as is well known, it is during good times that the cities grow ; it is only during hard times that people are driven upon the soU for a livelihood. According to the census of 1880, the increased acreage of grain crops in this country between 1873 and 1878 amounted to about 50,000,000. It was the largest known to our history. In 1878, nearly 12,000,000 acres of land were taken up and put into grain crops. Of course, a great production of grain followed, and simulta¬ neously came the repeated failures of the crop in Europe. We consequently had an im- precedented demand at high figures for our enormous crops, and this was the basis for the prosperous years we have just passed through. But it is a fact, it would be well to bear in mind, that upon the coming of good times there was a marked falling off in the new acres devoted fco farming. While the average amount of new lands taken up be¬ tween 1878 and 1878 was over 8,000,000 acres per annum, according to the official figures, the new lands put under cultivation for grain during 1879, 1880 and 1881 average less than 2,500,000 acres per annum. While undoubtedly new farm lands are opened in Minnesota, Dakota and the extreme West and the acreage there increased, it is noto¬ rious that there was less farming land put under cultivation east of the Mississippi. For this there was an obvious reason. The cities began to grow with astonishing rapid¬ ity, and all kinds of manufacturing became active. In other words, the large towns and manufacturing districts not only absorbed the entire increase of the population, but actually drew upon),the [a^icultural labor of the farming lands. If wheat and com is hign, it is not only because of the drought of last summer; another, and as important reason is to be found in the vast consump¬ tion of our increased population, which, k having better wages than during the hard