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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 63, no. 1609: January 14, 1899

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January 14, 1899. .Record and Guide ESTABUSHQ)^ jJl^iRPHeUi^ 1858. Bl/SDifESS Af^lHEltlES OF CEfJEn^V iKTa^l, PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS. FwbUs/ied every Saturday. TBLEFHONB, COBTLAITDT 1370. Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Ve«ey StreeL J. 1. LCNBSEY, Business Manager. " Entered at tJie Post-O^ice at New York,N. Y., as seeond-elaes matter." Vol. LXIIL JAiNTTAR-Y 14, 1899. 1,609 On ihe 28//; of January ire vnll issue tltelndex io Volume LXII, of iJie JRecord and Guide, coverinc/ the period between July 1st and Decemher Slst, 1898. Price, $1. 2Tiis Index in its enlm-gcd forin, is now recognized as indispensable to every one engaged or interested in real estate and building operations. It eovers all transactions—deeds, mortgages, leases, auction sales, Imif^ing plans filed, etc. Orders for the Index should be sent al onc^ to the office of publication, 14 and 16 Vesey Street. THE speculative element in Wall Street has plenty of material to manipulate and, thereby keep up the activity. At one time it Is the Vanderhilts, at another the Grangers they take in hand whenever tliere is no specialty to work on. Pennsylvania came in for a share of attention this week. It is surprising that this sterling issue should have so long escaped notice, probably the difficulty has previously been in accumulating enough stock on whicli to make a movement. The only dissatisfied people just now are the brokers- who cannot get their customers to. take profits and, as this ties up capital, who are asking for higher margins and in the cases of issues that are hard to dispose of ex¬ cept in times of extreme activity outright purchases. So far the banks have shown no disposition to check the upward move¬ ment and so long as they are willing to make loans on new basis of prices, so long will the speculator keep up the game more or less vigorously That the available canital resources of the com¬ munity are very great was shown hy the rem'ark of the Governor of the Bank of England this week to the effect that Instead of EuroTie financing the United States; the latter was now financ¬ ing Europe. This had reference to our reserves of credits on the other side and was. probably intended to prepare the financial world there for the conditions that wilt arise when these credits nre wlflidrawn to sustain an increased commercial and Indus-trial movement here, a consideration that dnubtless has a1?o snTnethliTr fn dn- -with the maintenance of a 4'% discount rate by the Eank nf Ensrland for so Ton?. On this side of the Atlantic there Is no abatement of the cheerfulness that has characterized our people since the Cuban Question was dissolved in a war -with Spain and they tasted In advance the pleasures nf possession nf new ter¬ ritories which should supply opportunities for Increased industry and enterprise. Beyond the dlsposttlnn of tbe broker to regard with jealousy the tying up of his capital in the accounts' of cus¬ tomers who will not realize there is nothing to indicate that the buying movement Is ended. Ai further advance would he Just as much justified as was that made In many cases during the past thirty days or so. IN' the last phase of the Dreyfus case—the lapse of one of the mem'bers of the Court of Oassation Into an agitator and a demagogiies—and his subsenuent discredit by the Cham>her of Deputies, there may be found a sign that this extraordinary case will soon be finally and properly disposed of and that the Re¬ public will safely pass through the t-rylng and dangerous ordeal that the case created for it. There has been altogether too much cry of danger to the Government during this whole agitation and French people like others get tired of a cry too often repeated. At no time has there been a real scare; had there been It would have found expression in financial disturbance and consequent panic. As It Is the Grovernment savings hank has to some extent been discredited and the stocking depository taken into con¬ fidence again by the people, and there have been undoubtedly some large remittances to London; but there have been none ot those great transfers by interests, which are by no means timid, which would have been the case had there been any real danger of political and social upheaval. The drivel to which the antl- Dreyfusites have resorted, through the mouth of M. de Beanre- paire, ought to kill their case. Tn taldng review of the past year In Britain, it is found that during that period the downward course of prices of commodities, continued from 1895 to 1897, re¬ ceived a decided check. Though there has teen no uniformity, and some extraordinary movements, the rise in wheat under Leiter manipulation fnr instance, on balance the upward' ten¬ dency predominated in the year. The extreme activity in British shipbuilding, which accounts for some of the advances in prices, is shown by figures recently published of an output for the year of _1,610,000 tons, an increase of over 50% over the output for 1897 and by long odds the best figures ever recorded in any one year in that industry. Another European matter that is worthy of notice is that strenuous efforts' are being made to seize the present opportunity when the incidents connected with the Prague Iron Industry Company showed the absurdity of too much protection for the iron producers, to get the Governments of Austria and Hungary to seriously consider the advisability of reducing the duties on Iron, and stopping the combinations formed by the large firms, which enable them to. fix their own prices without fear of competition. Tn industrial circles, and In the Belchsrath. there is quite a revolt against the monopoly In the Iron trade, and a general cry that the duty must be reduced. Except Russia, no country In Europe has set up such high pro¬ tective duties for iron as Austria. Money in Europe Is still in good demand, the new year not having brought much relief, as in Indicated hy the continuation of tbe high discount rates by the national banlrs. ■•^HE lists of assessed valuations of real estate in this city for ■t 1899 were duly opened on Monday last and the results In the totals and In the sections affected by the Increases were what we had already prepared our readers to expect. None the less they are naturally received with Indignation by property- owners ffpuprally and with loud protests by those who have been Individually made the victims of the process of "equalization" called for by the charter. The Tax Department pleads the man¬ date of the law to Justify what they have done. There can be no question that the Charter does require valuations and taxa¬ tion to be equalized throughout the new city it creates, but it I3 taking too much for granted to admit at once that to put more than three-fourths of the total increase upon Manhattan and the Bronx was simply carrying out the law. Nor. even If we were to admit that equalization of tax valuations required that thoee of Manhaffan and tbe Bronx should be Increased something over ?327.nnft,f)nn. should it be assumed that the law was eqiiltablv administered when so much of that total was pnt upon buslnesa and bis-b-class. resldental nronerties In certain selected areas as has been done. It is not only a question whether eoualizatlon has been falrlv anplled in one bormiErb as' against aunfber. but alsn whether it has been so applied throughout Manhattan itself. Tn the lists of valuations of Individual prouerties given In another column the increases are so large, particularly on office build¬ ings, as to materially change the problem on which the owners had been induced to build, or were running their bnlldlngs: the item' of taxes Is so suddenly and so dlsnronortlonately increased. The solution of the owner's nroblem thus unfavorably modified. - It is natural tn assume, must involve an increase In rents, so that tbe dissatisfaction, now confined to owners, will spread to the ' tenant class. The noHcv assumed by tbe Tax Den a rtment towards business prnnerty is likely also to affect development In this di¬ rection until it can be ascertained how far the extra expense fOr taxes can be recouned through a rising scale of rents. These con¬ siderations are In no wise aifected by the knowledge that the Increased assessments can be Justified by the terms of the charter, or were made necessary by the pecuniary needs of the munlcipalltv: nor is it any comfort now to know that they ar