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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 70, no. 1797: August 23, 1902

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August 23, 1902. RECORD AND GUIDE. 257 d ^ E3TABUSHEir^(JykBPHSl'r^ia68. BUsiWess Alto Themes of GeiJer^ IfhtRfST. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS Vtthtlshed eVerg Satardag {jommmiloatloiia ahould t)e addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Veaey Street. New YorK ). T. UNSSETT, Boslnesa Uan&ffer Mlaphona. Cortlandt SIST "Sntere' t \e Pjs. 0; iff at 2few rorl. N. T« aa second- la s matter." No. 1797. VoL LXX. AUGUST 23, 1902. THERE is no reason to change the view of tbe Stork Market presented in this column last week. The break in prices seen on Thursday was due to speculative profit taking and not to fears for tbe condition of business in the near future. Money- will be the factor of most prominence for some time. We are in a period of commercial and industrial activity, and have a great crop to move. These together make the demand for funds more than ordinarily active, and it may be that having prior call, the wants of other interests may restrict the supply for Wall Street and consequently the activity in stocks. Even if that is the case. values in the market will be safeguarded by those very prosper¬ ous conditions in the factory and field, and a decline of impor¬ tant proportions is impossible. This Is further assured by the fact that the market was never before so peculiarly oue-sided as now. The phenomenal smallness of the supply of floating stock and the absence of liquidation make systematic operations on the short side impossible. What is done in that line is limited by the knowledge that short sales soon make themselves appa¬ rent in the loan room. A speedy ending of the coal strike is looked for from the belief that the miners have nothing to ex¬ pect from the return of Mr. Morgan. It seems that the men themselves have to be satisfied of this by direct appeal, although it is so absurd to suppose that he has not all along been fully aware of. and in accord with the policy of the anthracite mana¬ gers. The effects of the closing of this struggle on the market cannot be great because those of its opening and continuance have not been. The strength of prices is not due to this or that one circumstance, but to the general activity and prosperity of the community as a whole and the soundness of the financial conditions. Abroad a further improvement is noticeable. The intimation that the pecuniary affairs of the Transvaal are to be adjusted and put in shape through the agency of a new loan, was followed by a fractional break in Consols. These securities al¬ ways break when the government is about to negotiate a new loan. Both the Bank of England and tbe Bank of France gained gold this week, and altogether it appears that a heavy demand on New York from its own proper dependent territory will not he complicated by the recall of funds loaned here by European centres. LAST week we referred to the constant increase of the pro¬ fessional element in operations in Manhattan real estate. This cannot be overlooked because it is a fact of the utmost im¬ portance. In looking for the reason for this, it will be found that it is due to a number of causes, of which probably the most important is tbe extent to which apartment houses, tene¬ ments and apartment hotels are superseding private dwellings as the general means of habitation. The number of people who own their own houses in New York are continually decreasing. More private dwellings are destroyed every year to make room for business buildings or co-operative dwellings of one kind or another than there are new ones erected. The consequence is there is nothing like the general popular interest in real estate that there once was. Apartment houses, tenements and tbe like are, indeed, bought for investment, but, because they are so much trouble to manage, they are generally bought by people whose interest in real estate is more or less professional. An even more important reason for this increased professional in¬ terest in Manhattan real property is the c[uick changes of value which are constantly taking place. These changes have been peculiarly rapid and numerous during the past two years, and it Is natural that they should have attracted the attention of an in¬ creasing number of speculators. The realty corporations are an outgrowth of this professional interest, which will undoubtedly end in the creation of large numbers of investment companies, for it is pulybymeans of these companies that much of this prop¬ erty can i^ventually be unloaded on the public. At the same time It is probable that this professional interest In New York real estate will remain dominant for many years. During the next decade at least the various transit improvements now under way will keep on .making changes in values, which it is tbe peculiar business of real estate speculators to anticipate and turn to their own profit. The Real Estate Situation. ^p-HE summer dullness has continued throughout the past •^ week, and has become almost oppressive. The only sales of any magnitude and importance which continue to be announced are the result of the continued demand on the part of builders for apartment hotel sites. But these are rare, partly because no structural steel can be had until next year, except at almost prohibitive prices, and partly because ot the diflaculty of secur¬ ing available sites that offer the builder a fair margin of profit The number of building plans filed each week and the amount of expenditure they call for, are again beginning to fall behind the corresponding figures of last year, and probably will con- .tinue to do so throughout the whole fall. In fact it seems prob¬ able as if the present dullness would persist at least until the end of the year. It is possible that builders will begin making purchases for improvement in anticipation of the opening of the Subway during the fall months; but they are not likely to be numerous. It looks now as if the Subway would not be opened for traffic by a year from next Christmas, as has been confidently predicted, and that a builder who counts upon the truth of the prediction might well be hurt. The fall market will not be leavened by any new infiuences of importance, and we do not believe that the old influences that have been recently pre¬ vailing will be productive of much activity. Doubtless there are a number of big schemes still holding over, which will be taken up and pushed, but very little can be done this fail. How much will be done next spring, it would be dangerous to predict; but we should not be surprised to see a year of com¬ parative dullness in the real estate of lower Manhattan. It will be accompanied, however, by anything but dullness in the real estate of upper Manhattan and the Bronx. For a good piany years in the nineties, builders spent any where between $15,- 000,000 and $25,000,000 on the West Side. Beginning with 1903 they will probably soon be spending $30,000,000 per annum on Washington Heights, for the rapidity of the improvement of that region will be measured only by the celerity or slowness of street opening proceedings. Within a short time thereafter al¬ most as much money will be spent in the Bronx; while the new East River Bridge will almost at the same time send a good many people to the Williamsburgh District of Brooklyn, The center of interest will be transferred from the Borough of Man¬ hattan to the outer edges of the greater city, and the pro¬ cesses of readjustment will be less conspicuous than tbe pro¬ cesses of expansion. It will again become possible for a man to buy a private residence within a half an hour of the City Hall for from $10,000 to $15,000, and immense areas will be covered with small dwellings. Of coui-se the processes of readjustment and reconstruction will continue at the same time, hut hereafter they will have a less forced and a more wholesome growth. The business reported this week is of about the same general character as that which has been made public for a number of weeks past. Two interesting transactions are: The sale of the New York theatre and that of the old Hotel Bayard at the south¬ west corner of 54th street and Broadway. The former is reported sold at $2,000,000, and while this does not appear an exorbitant figure compared with other sales in the immediate vicinity it undoubtedly sold for considerably less. The price reported as paid for the Hotel Bayard, $400,000, appears to be very high, and while it is a very good site for a hotel there are in the immediate vicinity others erected on as large plots which cost very much less. GOOD ideas are often dormant for a long time; but event¬ ually they will come to the top. President Cantor has shown his usual good sense in proposing through his quarterly report the appointment of a commission to outline a plan for the artistic improvement of the Borough of Manhattan. Such a commission would be a development of the idea, which lies be¬ hind the existing Art Commission. The functions of that body are advisory; but it possesses no initiative. It must wait for some other body or official to produce something, whereupon it can approve or disapprove. Of late it has been showing com¬ mendable activity; but its functions are too restricted to make it much of a power in the city. The functions of the new com¬ mission would still be advisory, we presume; but it would have a chance of initiating and planning projects for the artistic improvement of the city. In time it might well become as itn-