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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 65, no. 1682: June 9, 1900

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June g, 1900, RECORD AHD GUIDE. lOOI DEv&iEDTDRpV-EsTAlt.BuiLoiffe ^RqM'nzcTUi^.KofSEaoLDDEoa^uwl Bi/sd/ess aiJdThehes Of GejIer^I ll^TtllfSl. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS. Puhlished evert/ Saturday. Telephone, Cortlandt 1370. Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Veaey Street. /. r. LINDSEY, Business Manager. "Entered at the Post-Offlce at New York, N. 7., as second-class maltn:" Vol, LXV. JUNE 9, 1900. No. 16S2, ONLY news adverse to values is effective on the stoek market at present. This is usually the case in a dull time, and the present is unqualifiedly a dull time. Quotations have, as a ■whole, moved slowly downward, hecause that mtist be the me¬ chanical result of the absence of the speculative public when the sellers, of whom there are always some, must make concessions to realize on their holdings. This downward movement will be quickly accelerated if the news of the day relating to crops and trouble abroad is confirmed. A poor'proBpeet for wheat in the Northwest will influence the prices of a line of railroad stocks that have been the strongest and steadiest of tbeir class and sympathetically demoralize others. As it happens, one of the Northwesterners, Northern Pacific, is a speculative favorite in Berlin, where there is already a scare on the drop in iron and steel prices on this side of the Atlantic, which are taken to fore¬ tell fiercer American competition in the iron and steel markets of Europe, and consequently cutting into the proflts of Euro¬ pean industrial issues. Berlin is then likely to sell this stock for two reasons: One, that means must be found to protect home indUL-trinl issues, and the other that a smaller wheat crop in the Northwest means smaller profits for Northern Pacific itself. Similar facts and reasonings will influence the prices of other stocks. On the other hand there are sections where a bountiful crop is assured, and the stocks of the roads developing thera ought to advance, and would except for the sympathetic connec¬ tion that holds stocks more or less together, and only leaves as¬ sured steadiness or a smaller decline in these cases. Our market is affected, too, by the nervousness apparent abroad over the situation in China, where the elements for a big conflagration have been lying for some years. If the stability of investments there is threatened we shall find ourselves drawn upon for assist¬ ance through realizings in our market, which is another thing that may help a downward movement. But one thing must be kept in mind, and that is that our own situation is a sound and not an unsound one, and that the declines will afford oppor¬ tunities for profitable buying in proportion to tbeir intensity. A much less substantial showing than we can make now would have justified cheerfulness some years ago, and we have no rea¬ son, whatever to be scared, though we cannot help the effects on prices that sectional troubles at home and abroad bring. THE week failed to develop any suggestion of tbe final spurt of activity which usually marks the close of the market for city property in June. Sometimes this temporary revival, which is based on tbe normal periodic movement of capital, runs into the first week in July. But this year indications point to an early summer in real estate. Money is cheap and plenti¬ ful. On the other hand, builders hesitate to undertake new ventures on a falling material market, particularly as prices have not yet declined to a level which would insure a certain profit on speculative construction work. At the same time, conditions are not ripe for a general influx of outside invest¬ ment capital, which is not likely to assume large proportions before the industrial situation comes to be regarded as unsafe. Real estate is evidently experiencing the sort of temporary re¬ action that is apparent in other staple markets. Speaking gen¬ erally, prices of commodities having become unduly inflated by tbe inability of modern plants of production to supply a sudden and extraordinary increase in demand, called into requisition antiquated or disused plants, until production passed beyond consumption. The logical fall in prices tends to render all but modern plants once more unprofitable, and to cause a restrictiou on production by putting obsolete plants out of commission. In nearly every line of trade, manufacturers, middle-men and speculators are working off stocks accumulated on a rising mar¬ ket, while buyers make hand-to-mouth purchases BO long as quotations continue to decline. The gradual reduction of stocks, together with restriction on production, is working towards a stable level of prices, and when that stability is attained we shall undoubtedly have a prolonged period of heatbful activity in all lines ot iiusiness, for current reports on the agricultural, rail¬ way and banking interests preclude any fear as to tbe essential soundness of the general industrial situation. The process of restoring equilibrium to prices can hardly extend beyond the summer. At any rate, when that equilibrium is attained specu¬ lative building, with a consequent demand for lots, is certain to be-revived, and it is equally certain that the liberation of capital by restriction on production in the general industrial field must presently turn a considerable amount of outside money into real estate for investment. Meantime, rentals on all classes of bous¬ ing continues to rise as a consequence of the current inactivity in the building industry, and tbe brokerage reports show less than the usual falling off in the market for private houses as the vacation period approaches. Dull Days. "P" HERE are periods wlien a sort of feeling of lassitude seems * to seize upon the entire community and the word "dull" is on everyone's lips. All the markets report dullness as the prevailing characteristic, the individual appears to be surprised at the inactivity that has come over himself and his affairs, and even opens his newspaper with a listless expectation of finding "nothing in it." "It is like the yawn that goes around the com¬ pany, that a few minutes ago was in the height of enjoyment, when wit fails or saiety ensues on a too plentiful feast. This is the condition prevailing at the present moment. People have the azure trouble, or, In vulgice, are in the dumps. Why? Most of them would flnd it hard to explain. Those who think it out are very likely to come to the conclusion, and logically too, that it is due to the limitations of human nature to endure any par¬ ticular kind of fortune, whether good or bad, for too long a time. Four years ago at this time we experienced the same feeling at the end of a prolonged period of bad business; to-day it super¬ venes on an equally extended period of good business. This seems somewhat inconsistent, and is. The equable observer who is free from the common influence, if any such remarkable being existed, would exclaim: "How very singular, whether busi¬ ness is bad or good you poor mortals are unhappy." If we look back upon the past four years we will see that we have had a very exciting time. We entered upon it in a decided condition, in vulgice again, of funk. The free silver scare kept us awake at night, and anxious by day. So soon as the elections had dismissed it to the infinities, we proceeded to celebrate, and kept it up until a little while ago, with the Spanish war, and a business movement that knocked all precedent to pieces, fol¬ lowed by a foreign war that aifected us profoundly. With so¬ briety comes the headache, the feeling of fatigue, blue vision and biliousness. The curious thing is that all the time we were en¬ joying ourselves so hilariously we knew the pleasure could not endure beyond a comparatively brief period, and while we are now trying to make ourselves miserable we know that six months hence we shall be as cheerful and chipper as we, or any other community, has ever been. Something of sadness we may alloW' ourselves hecause of the results of our little unpleasant¬ ness with Spain, but not very much when we see what follows other such undertakings. Bellona is a dangerous goddess to arouse, sometimes injuring her invokers more than those whom she is called to punish. But other and more gracious deities finally bestow the rewards. Looking at our trade and commerce fairly, we have to admit that it was not in the nature of things human tbat we could keep up such a pace as we did in the past three years. That enormous activity was due, in a large meas¬ ure, to the work that had accumulated on our hands during the time of unnecessary fear of the consequences of the populistic and dishonest currency movements, when none had the courage to enter enterprises, however promising or necessary for the well-being of the community. The accompanying growth of population increased the dimensions of our needs and the two together taxed our utmost strength and resources when cour¬ age and confidence where aroused by the triumph of the honest money party at the polls. As our arrears have been overcome and our normal measure of wants supplied, it is not at all re¬ markable that a reaction should ensue and that prices, that rose and rose under an abnormal demand, should now decline to a basis commensurate with a normal one. The gloomy feeling that is prevalent now is due to a lack of the sense of proportion and a disregard of the principle of aver¬ ages that would, if exercised, do much to offset the evils of the individualistic system which controls modern society.Were these 1