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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 70, no. 1807: November 1, 1902

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November i, 1902. RECORD AND GUIDE. 641 ESTABUSHED-SJ:? W«PH£iM^ IBG8. JDe^teD to f^L EsTWE. Building AjicKitecti/re ,KausnioLD DEEca(Wiort. Busii^Ess Alb Themes OF GerfeR^l iKrtRfST. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE. SIX DOLLARS Published eVerp Saturday ComnninlcTations should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street, New YorR 3. T. LINDSEY, Bufilnoss Managt c Telephone, Cortlandt 3157 "Entered at the Post Office at Neio York. K T.. a.s second-ctass matter." Vol. LXX. NOVEMBER 1. 1902. No. 1807. IN the expectation that the money that has been going away from this centre to move the crops is about to begin the pro¬ cess of returning, loan rates have eased off somewhat, and the Stock Market at the close of the week took on a little more ■cheerful appearance. In money the conditions are by no means easy, because, while call rates are low compared with what they have been recently, this is because tbe demand is very small and not because the banks have surplus funds with which to in¬ dulge the speculative. Time money is somewhat more plentiful in the market, but the rates, while lower than a week ago, are not such as to encourage borrowing except for necessities. In the course of the next thirty days there ought to be no danger of a pinch, but later on, in December, if it does not come sooner, there will be the usual year-end demand simultaneously appear¬ ing on both sides of the Atlantic, and this prospect suggests the need of great caution. Owing to the temporarily changed condi¬ tions in the money market stocks may rally, but that they can advance much under all the circumstances, present and pros¬ pective, is very doubtful. This applies particularly to Rail¬ roads. It must be borne in mind that in spite of the gratifying results from operations and of the liquidation that has been forced in the passed month, prices of these stocks are still high, and until they at least look low and money is to be freely ob¬ tained at quite small figures there can be no new speculative movement on the long side. It stands to reason that with call money four to six per cent, and flve per cent, stocks at a high premium, there is no inducement to undertalie speculative op¬ erations. Industrials are depressed by the political outlook as weii as by the discrimination of the banlis against them and their relatively low prices and large profits are prevented from giving them the boost which their merits in many instances ■warrant. At the same time bonds pay too little to be attractive when money can be loaned in the open marliet for six months at a considerably higher rate than the bonds would pay. 2^ T the moment the news that the gold output of the Rand ■^^ is increasing satisfactorily comes acceptably. The pro¬ duction for October was 190,000 ozs., which was 20,00(1 ozs. more than in September. This production is at the rate of about $45,- 000.000 a year, to compare with a rate of $100,000,000 made before the war, so it will be seen, especially as production was resumed at the rate of $1,500,000 a year, that pretty good progress in re¬ asserting normal conditions at the mines is being made. It is not unlikely that a new, or rather an old gold fleld revived, wiil attract attention In the near future. This is what is known as the Ivory Coast Gold Field, which is about to be exploited in the modern way, both mechanically and market-wise. Its friends claim that it may one day rival the Rand, but as they are pro¬ moters a good deal of this statementshould be written off against -interested enthusiasm. At the same time it is well known that the gold-bearing area of this region is of enormous extent a good deal of capital has been put into it, and some very rich finds have already been made. The French government in whose possessions it is included, are doing everything they'can to encourage the industry. Among other things they have pro¬ hibited the exportation of native labor from the country and have selected administrators for their special knowledge of what is required in the-circumstances. Regarding the commercial and financial condition of Europe there is little or nothing to be said further than that the conditions generally give dissatisfaction but that they appear to be working out to a tolerably good end The attitude abroad toward our securities continues to be one of suspicion. Labor sUtistics recently issued for Great Britain Show on the whole a decline of employment most noticeable in the engineering and shipbuilding trades; mining has remained good and some branches of the textile industries have Improved " The Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers, Ltd., a combi¬ nation formed two years ago to drag the cement trade of the Thames out of tbe mire, last year failed to earn the amount re¬ quired for dividends ou the preferred stock, although the orig¬ inal prospectus promised a surplus over 10 per cent, on the com¬ mon. From this, after making due allowance for the "enthu¬ siasm" of promoters previously referred to, we may infer that cement manufacturing is not one of the trades in an improving condition. Real Estate Situation. In spite of what seems to be many discouraging conditions, the real estate market continues to report a seasonable volume of business, and to show distinct signs of a steady demand for cer¬ tain classes of property. In fact there is more business being done than there was during the The Continued corresponding period of last year, which rep- Real Estate resented the high-water mark of real estate Activity. activity. The number of transfers recorded at the Register's Ofiice for the last week of Sep¬ tember and the first three weeks of October was 865 for the current year, against 743 for 1901. Doubtless an unusually large fraction of these 865 conveyances represents mere trading, for the proportion of papers which carried nomi¬ nal considerations was 51 per cent, in 1901, against 56 per cent in 1902; aud much of this trading is of little or no benefit either to property-owners or brokers. Still after making all deductions the figures show that the first month of real estate transactions of the present business year was rather a better month than the corresponding one of the previous year. This is a fact which justifies the Inference that even present high prices are not suf¬ ficient to do more than slightly moderate the upward tendency of business and values. During the past week, for instance, the sale of three iots on 88th street, just east of Fifth avenue, at an advance over the figure recently paid by the sellers, who, it was believed, had given top prices, shows that there is still a chance to make money out of speculating in building sites in this most speculative of all sections. High class residence property, either present or prospective, is not however at present the most active class of property. Cheaper dwellings, tenements, and vacant lots for improvement with elevator apartments constitute the bulk of the business; and the West Side and Harlem are the most favored sections. Harlem furnishes the largest transaction of the week in the trade of the seven^story apartment houses, distinguished by the elevated and classic names of the Parthenon and the Hesperus and occupying the block front on Manhattan Harlem ^''^^^^- between 117th and 118th streets, for a and the ""^'^^rof similar but smaller properties owned West Sid ^'^ °^' ^' ^"""^^^ Bulliley. This transaction is ^- very large, so far as the aggregate values are concerned; but were the equities alone con¬ sidered, it would certainly become a compar¬ atively small piece of business. By the trade, however Mr Marx disposed of a large property, which he could well use and se¬ cures a number of smaller parcels, which can be readily traded The significance of the affair consists in the fact that it prob¬ ably couid not have been arranged, had not the renting condi¬ tions in Harlem very decidedly improved of late, and with the improvement has come a tendency to continue the almost com¬ pleted work of building up that section. Several elevator flat houses and an apartment hotel are among the recent announee- meuts. It is well to keep in mind that as a result of the im¬ provement of the lower Bronx and Washington Heights which will proceed so rapidly for the next ten years, 125th street should become to an increasing extent a local business and amusement centre. In fact that street should regain the ground it lost some years ago. At present there is not many signs of a business re¬ vival; but plans have been filed recently for two theatres in that vicinity, and there is an obvious tendency toward a diversified and interesting class of improvement. It is no wonder that the Harlem Property Owners' Association has felt during the past week like felicitating itself on its work and on the prospects for the future. The revival of apartment house building will of course, include the West Side, as well as Harlem; but on'the more important streets of the West Side, it is probable that fire¬ proof will be substituted for the former semi-fireproof apart¬ ment houses. That will certainly be the case on Broadway It may be doubted, whether even, if the tenement-house law per¬ mitted the erection of the old seven-story semi-flreproof flats values on that thoroughfare are not too high for the income which this type of building yields. It will take fireproof apart¬ ment houses to compete with the fireproof apartment hotels of