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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 70, no. 1791: July 12, 1902

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July 12, 1902. RECORD AND GUIDE. 37 ___v4% , Business Alio Themes of GeiIer^ I^TESf st. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS published eVerg Saturdag Commimlcatlona should be etddreesed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street, New YorK J. T. UNDSET. Bualneea Manager Telephone, Cortlandt 3167 "Entered at he Pos Offic al Neio Yorl. JV. T., as .second- (a s matter.' Vol. LXX. JULY 12, 1902. No. 1791. SPECULATION has found a good deal of encouragement this week in crop reports and in the marvelous way railroad earnings as a whole continue to malte increases. These have more than overcome the objection to buying because prices are very high when the actual returns on securities are considered. Arithmetic, is is unnecessary to remark, has had nothing to do with quoted values for a long time past. The prominent stocks in the advance were the old-time dividend payers and under cover of their movements, realizations in other directions were actively carried on, so that, nothwithstanding appearances, there are a considerable number of substantial declines recorded for the week. Still there is a tendency to regard the situation favorably. It is apparent from the railroad earnings that business through¬ out the country is very active, and so far as can be gathered from the trade reports, in other respects good. It is too soon to as¬ sume a confident tone in speaking of the crops, but the report just issued by the Government is distinctly encouraging consid¬ ering the set-backs farming as a whole received in the early part of the year. Since its data were collected there have been a number of unfortunate meteorological experiences in various parts of the country. Still on the whole there has been improve¬ ment. Corn appears to be backward in many parts, and this in¬ creases its liability to injury from frost. Some loss of the grain could, however, be borne if prices are maintained at a good pay¬ ing level—not necessarily 90 cents. That is a sort of luxury corn growers only obtain through the benevolence of cornerers. For some years farmers were accustomed to see corn around 30 cents; they would, doubtless, think an average of 45 cents satis¬ factory, and anything above that something to be very thank¬ ful for. A good crop with prices high, would have a very sus¬ taining influence on general business, seeing how much that de¬ pends upon the prosperity and purchasing power of the farmer. The only other factor in the situation that calls for remark is money for which the interior demand is somewhat early, and should speculation spread out, rates will advance. Exchange, happily, is easier, and there is nothing in the foreign situation that is likely to create demands upon this centre. The state¬ ments of the foreign banks reveal considerable strength, and they ought to be able to deal with their own troubles, now ap- , pearing from causes previously explained in this column with¬ out troubling this side much if at all. ACCORDING to what may be taken as an official announce¬ ment, an article in an evening newspaper, the Tenement House Commission are about to take immediate steps to enforce the requirements of the Tenement House Law applying to what are specified in the law as "now existing tenement houses;" that is, houses that were built prior to the passage of the law of 1901, which was amended this year. The good sense of the Legisla¬ ture was sufficiently reached last spring to obtain the removal of the most unreasonable requirements of the law of last year, and those that remain, with the exception of one, perhaps, may very readily be complied with. These relate principally to the removal of places where dirt and filth may accumulate, and to improved ventilation. The Commission have already caused an Inspection to be made of thousands of houses, and are proceed¬ ing with the examination of the rest. Notices are being sent out calling attention to the items in which the houses are defi¬ cient, and owners will show a proper sense of the Legislature's consideration of their interests by promptly making the small and inexpensive alterations that will be required. It will, be re¬ membered that the main contention between the Commission and the property owners' representatives was over the ventilation of interior rooms and the school sinks. In the first the Legis¬ lature decided that reasonable ends would be met by requiring that a room not having a window upon a street or a yard, or a court or open shaft of not less than 25 sq, ft. area, should have. simply, a sash window of not less than 15 sq. ft, area, opening into an adjoining room in the same apartment, or an alcove opening of no less dimension than the sash window. There are those who say that this requirement would be met by simply taking the communicating door off its hinges. The window, however, is a small matter, and so much more preferable in point of decency and morals that it ought to he inserted wherever re¬ quired. As to the school sinks, their removal is not required be¬ fore January 1st next. The Commission and the property owners are not at one iu the idea that they ought to be removed, or that what the law calls for in their place is better. An application will be made to the next Legislature for further amendment of the law in this respect and meantime, that is after January 1st, they cannot do it before—it is hoped the Commission will not at¬ tempt to enforce this provision of law. If they do, recourse will be had to the courts by associated property owners. Generally, it is understood that the policy of the Commission towards old tenements is to insist upon the requirements of the law being strictly carried out, after due notice having been given. Real Estate and Building in 1902. Business in the private sales market has now reached the stage of summer dullness, the transactions with three exceptions being of the variety that usually comes to the front at this season. The two sales on lower Wall street Indicate that the movement started there a year ago The News has been successful, and, as pointed out In of the these columns at that time, will be continued Week. not alone in the Wall street section, but on the water front as far north as business de¬ mands, until the district is provided with modern accommodations. The Tontine building which was the first modern building on Wall street, east of William street, was practically all rented before completion, as was also the one erected by Mr. Corn. Longacre Square again comes to the front, this time with the most interesting announcement that the dis¬ trict has furnished. A sixteen-story offlce building will be erected at the junction of Broadway, Tth avenue and 42d street, to be occupied mainly by the New York Times. It must not be taken for granted from this that sky-scraping office buildings will pay as far north as this at present. This operation would hardly have been undertaken at this time had not its projectors a tenant in advance for a large portion of the building, thereby insuring its success from the start. This will be the first modern building with office accommodation in the district, and will more than likely draw from the remodelled buildings, of which there are a good many on 42d street. Real estate operations in Manhattan and the Bronx have pre¬ sented during the first half of 1902 many varying and significant features. Throughout the first four months the figures both for the total number of transactions and the amount they involve uniformly exceeded those Real Estate of last year. The excess was not great but It Records of equalled In different weeks from 5 to 10 per Six Months, cent of the totals. As the Record and Guide pointed out at the time, a large portion of this excess was traceable directly to the purchases of railroad corporations for terminals in Manhattan; but after making due allowance for these purchases, a certain margin of increase remained, and this margin was very significant consid¬ ering the great activity and advancing prices of the previous year. For the past six weeks, however, the totals of the recorded real estate transactions have shown decreases rather than in¬ creases. These decreases have varied between 15 and 50 per cent; but they have been much more conspicuous in the amount of money involved by the conveyances than in the number there¬ of. The consequence is that in Manhattan and the Bronx the records for the six months show a decrease in the aggregate considerations expressed against a handsome increase in the total number of papers recorded. The number of conveyances filed from Jan. 1st to July 1st, 1902, was 9,625 against 9,211 in 1901, and this total means a greater activity than during any other half-year in the history of the city. The 9,211 transfers in 1901, however, involved some $97,682,811, while the 9,625 con¬ veyances of the present year carried with them no more than 591,753,732, Thus an increase of 414 in the number of transfers ia accompanied by a decrease of almost ?6,000,0O0 in the amount involved. The discrepancy is to be explained partly by the di¬ minished number of large transactions recorded during the past week, and partly by the augmented proportion of speculative transactions, which generally appear in the record as deeds witlr only nominal considerations. As a whole the figures bear out the recent contention oC the Record and Guide that all the con-