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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 57, no. 1472: May 30, 1896

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Jl.-iy no, 1806 Record and Guide. 92 ESTABLISHEB'^ WRPHZiy.^ 1868, Div^Tifi 10 Rea^lEstate.BuiLoif/o %crfiTECTaRE,KousEHou)DEGQi^Tioil, Busii/ess Aifo Themes of GEffei\Al INtoiest. PRICe, P£R YEAW, IN ADVANC, SIX DOLLARS. Pnblishrd rrerg Snlnrdny. TtLlI'lIOXE, --..-. COKTLAXDT 1370 ConmiiiulcalioDs tlioukl lie acliliesst-tl tii C. W, SWEET, 11-lC Vesey Street, J T. LINDSEY, Business Manager, "Entered nt Ihe Post-offlce at A'cw York, .V, 1'., as second-class mnller." Vol.. I.VII. M.\Y 30, 1896. Xo. 1,172 TIIEliE is iib.'-ohitely iMidiiiij; new to record in the coninier¬ cial siliialion. The iiulisjio.silioii toward m w business, which it has been onr duty to record week after week, un for¬ tunately still continues. The trade that is being done is not niisatislactor.y, in Ihat prices are fair and the Aolunie of trans¬ actions seenis to have some time ago reached the miniiiium. A belter illustration of the aimtliy that exists could not be found this week an.vwheie than in ihe slock market, which was moved neither by Hie awliil disaster at St. I.onis nor by the ilii-isidii dl' Ihe Federal Com t, which sustains Ihe ,Ioint Tiallic Association, the most ini|) to $264,074,:?26, or live times as much. The impoils ill tlio tirsl-named .year were .f!26,174,840 and in the last named $129,083,297, 'I'he exports were in the two years named severally, $24,294,532 and $134,991,02,1. These fig¬ ures not only show a pheiionieual growth of trade, but also a larger proportionate growth in exports than in iir.ports. Itis, however, in the fact that the .irrowth is abundant in imjiorts, it not ipiite at I he same ratio as of e_v|iorts,'that balm for the wouiuls inflicted by the alarmist is found. So long as the volume of Japan's buyin,g is so nearly the same as that of its selling, how Cciu it bo siuh a terror to other coniniercial nations as some would have us believe ? It is pointed out in the report pre¬ viously referied to, that while Japan once bought from this country, oil, cotton and isiiow takin.salso machiiieiy and metals. Great Britain is the prepondeiatiiig influence iu the Japanese trade, contiibuting .$45,172,108 of the total im¬ ports against $12,000,000 in 1872. But the country that has made the lar.s;est proportionate gain is (jterniany, the value of whose imports were in 1872, .$2,0 10,263 and in 1895, $12,- 233,155. In one case there was a fouifi>l'd and in the other a sixfold iucreasc. While these strtistics siiow the ability of Japan to take a prominent place among the Iradiug nations ot the earth, it is also beyond dispute that wa,aes are rapidl.y adv.aneiug and the manner of life of the people more luxuiious; two facts which will in time h.ave their influence in limiting her .ability to compete with Western peoples. \ CTING under the powers conferred upon them by ihe -^■^ Tenement House Act of 1895, the Board of Health bas condemned a number of tenements, specifled in another part of this paper, as unfit for occupation. This is the lirst proceeding of this kind in New York City and is of couisc regarded wilh a good deal of interest, not oiil.y b.y \h". owners of the ]iiopeity affected, but by real estate circles generally. On this side of the Atlantic we are not used to niea.snrcs that attempt to dis¬ pose of a man's piojierty in opposi'ion lo his wishes and the provi-ioii of the I'edi'ial and >tate Constitutions, that no one shall bl'. di-pr'ved of life, libeity or |ii-opcrly without due process of law, has oft'tl served to niiliifv ihem. Last year, when the Tenement House Act was discii-i.seil, much of the opposition was directed ajffiinsi pulling tliis iiower of condeninatioii into the haiiils of the lleallli lio 11(1, or any other board for Ihat matter, it being cjiiteiiiled that the health of Ihe cnnmiunity was sufti- eiently protected by Ihe powers already possessed by the muni¬ cipal authorities to insiiect tcr.eiiicuts and to i-ei|iiiie that they sliall be kept in a projier stale of siiiiilatioii. But as the jiower to coiidcmn was directed especially ag.iinst rear teiiemeiils, and as the late Tenement House t'ommission strenuously declaied that these hou>es were a menace to public health, in whicli dcclaialion they weri siijiported by the sanitary authorities, tliis iinivisioa ivas retained iu the law asjiassed. It is under- stood that the owners of t'lr condemned lenements will resist the aeiion of the Uoaid of Ileallh in ihe Courts, lelying upon tile conslitutioiial priivision already referred to. If the owners ot the pioperty in (iiieslioi; do carry the matter into the Courts the Health Board will, probably, look lo the opinion of the Couit of Appeals dcliicreil last year in the Tiiuity Corporation case to defeat Ihem. That opinion took a very liberal view of the powers of the Health IJoard lo eiifoice oiders issued for tbe protection ol the health of the cnmmiinity. We would advise the owners of Ihe c.indeiniied tenemciits to carefully study that opinion before iiii-niriiig any large expense in resisting the oDcration of this iiait of Ihe Tciiement House law. On a building bring condemiK d ihe owner can demand a survey in the nianiier iii-.ivjdi(l for in ihe case of unsafe buildings and may institute iirocci diii^:s m tiie Supieine Court for condemna¬ tion of Slid building. II shoubl be mentioned that in Ihe event of a building being (-oinleniiird and torn down the owner ia entitled lo conipensaliou esliiiiated in either one of three ways: (a) on the rental of the bnilding, as distinct from the groiimt rent, when legally and proiierly tenanted; (b) on the value nf the building put ink) reasonably good repair, lens the eost of repairs, and (c) on the value of Ihe iniilerials in the building. The General Agricultural Dep-efsion. THE indefatigable writers of letters on behalf of the single- lax movement have fiivoied us witli suggestions apropos of reinaiks made iu the articles on California Land Problems. The siiigle-taxers have taken vows, aiijiaieiitly, to wiite a flood of " persoual" letters to ever.y person having a semblaiico of prominence, aud tlnre is no way of stojiping Ihem, or, indeed, any reason for doiuy-si. Li'l tors whicli uniformly begiu with a compliinent and end wilh a lecture are not un|'! reading, even when one has learned to look u|on them as machine-mude. Besides, thi'y are often intelli.v'ently executed and bring new light and new suggestions. In the present instance there is a leipiest for a consideration of the depressed state of agricul¬ ture, which we are glad to heed. Not ouly iu Xew York but in many other States and nations, the depressed condition of agriculture is a sub.iect of earnest investigation. It is one of the phenomena wilh which the Salisbury ministry is expected to deal, and in Germany the chief strength of the movement in favor of bimetallism is found ill the impies.'ion that " something" must be done for the agri¬ cultural classes. Those who have full faith in the jiowerof tariffs to make or mar national luosperity can attribute the agiiciilluial depression iu Germany to protect ion, that in Eng¬ land to free trade, and thatiu the United States to ii vibrator.v policy worse than anything stable. The papers of Colorado explain each day how it all conies from the " crime of '73," and papers of Ihis section of the country demonstrate as per.sistently how it all comes from the unsettling eftects of free silver agita¬ tion. Each locality explains its troubles by pointing to some competing sectiou that is underselliiig, and the tran.sportation agencies come in for a liberal share of abuse. To this chaos of explanation the single-taxer contributes the su,ggestion that the farmer is unfortunate because .so much of the best located land is kept idle iu speculative holdings, and because the farmeis' improvements aud personal property are now needlessly taxed. Our view of this explanation is that there is soniethiiig iu it, but not much. Just how much cannot be stated uutil statistics have been collected on a dittereut plan than any yet tried. Tho middle West has done much under the present tax .system to make speculators let go of their holdings. There the property of non-residents especially has been pretty generally over-assessed, as compared with other property. The general social result of this policy seems on Ihe whole to have baen good, and suggests that further experiments along the same line might be made under the present or aniodified system of taxation. Instead of making them, however, the practice in the West, aud particularly iu California, is to under-assess unimproved land, lu the State named there is no reason in tho