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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 71, no. 1828: March 28, 1903

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]\Iarch 28, 1903. RECORD ANB GUTDE 580 Dk^ id M- E^w^ • BuiLDijfc ApP^ntcTUEiE .t{oysErioui Deaca^ii. Biisafess Alb Themes of GeiIer^, Iifniifaii PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS Published eVerp Saturday Communications should be addreaaed to C. W. SWEET, 14 = 16 Vesey Street, New YorK. J, T. LINDSEY, Buslneaa Manager Telephone, Cortlandt 3157 "Entered at the Tost Office at NeiD York. N^. T.. as second-class matter." No. 1828 Vol. 1.XXI. MARCH 28, 1903. THE stock market continues to be affected by the high rates for money and the uncertainty of the labor situation. The steady decline in prices which has continued all this week, not only brought little or no outside buying, but its persistence and direction showed that there was moderate but steady liqui¬ dation from some quarter or quarters, particularly in the high- priced issues. That times are changed is apparent from this fact and the way in which new options are received by stock¬ holders. Not very long ago such announcements as have been made in the current month would have put prices up materially; now they have only served to depress them. It is true they have come at a time when money is dear and we cannot judge of their actual effect until the stringency passes as it should soon do, and rates are nearer the normal of late years. Still there is no ground for expecting extreme ease for a long time to come, in fact, until either the volume of money is increased or the business to be done reduces itself to the capacity of the funds that now exist. Where a few years ago high rates were known to be due to quickly passing causes, it will be low rates that will be so regarded for the future and the change will not only check speculation in listed securities but operate against quo¬ tations as well, especially where there is a substantia! disparity between current rates for money and the return on the security. CONSOLS continue to make the feature of the foreign mar¬ ket news. The drop ia the price to a small fraction under 90 this week, though directly occasioned by the report that a further issue was contemplated in connection with the Irish Land bill, serves to illustrate what we said last week in rela¬ tion to the movements of this important security. Our conclu¬ sion, that present conditions would compel a modification in the terms under which public loans must now be issued, is sup¬ ported by the reported price of the coming guaranteed Transvaal 3% loan of £35,000,000; this, it is said, will be 98. A three per cent, British loan, in all respects as good as Consols, at a dis¬ count of 2% will be something that was undreamt of a few years ago. Preparations for this loan account in part for the con¬ tinued high rates for money in London and may postpone the relief tke market is expecting with the opening of the coming month. Regarding genera! business conditions those who are looking for improvement, lay much stress upon the economic in¬ fluences of the new programme involving the expenditure of $55,000,000 for new construction. This with the exemption of the amount appropriated for one cruiser, which will be con¬ structed in one of the Government's yards, will ail go to private concerns, distributed on the Thames, Tyne, Clyde, Itfersey, etc. No less than $50,000,000 will be expended in the shipyards. It is worth recalling the fact that a similar policy of naval expen¬ diture started the last industrial boom which may be said to have ended only with the Boer War, and there is, therefore, good ground for anticipating that like consequences will follow the making of this one. A factor in the situation that more direct¬ ly concerns the world at large, is the Rand gold production which gives signs of having lost its impetus in the direction of increase. In February, 196,513 ozs, were reported against 199.- 279 in January. February was a shorter month and fewer mines made returns, but the month has an ante-bellum record of 404,- 335 ozs. and what the world wants to see, especially in these days of mitigated stringency, is something of the rapid progress made before the war interrupted work at the mines. Germany is in ample funds and a lender to both Great Britain and the United States, Rates for money are lower at Berlin than else¬ where and reports from the centres of the great industries indi¬ cate that conditions are rapidly growing better. Austria has effected a conversion of her common rente successfully so far as domestic capital is concerned, but foreigners as a rule ac¬ cepted the repayment offered, though the amount so demanded, though large in itself, was but a small percentage of the total. The Last of Tenement House Opposition. THERE was very little comfort to be derived by tbe oppo¬ nents of Tenement House reform from the delegations that made their way to Albany on Thursday last. It must be perfectly plain now to everybody who really wishes to get at the facts, that the entire community, excepting a negligible quan¬ tity, has "got behind" Mr. de Forest and the Tenement House Law. In spite of the obvious, how¬ ever, some individuals of a sanguinary temperament may be¬ lieve it is still possible to break down the law by the aid of the Legislature. However, 'even tliis delusion, wherever it exists, must be dispelled by Governor Odell's most positive declaration made on Thursday, when he announced that as long as he re¬ mained Governor he would refuse to sign any bill tbat was in any way inimical to Tenement House Reform as understood by the friends of the movement. It is impossible for an Executive to put himself on record in stouter or plainer terms, and with this assurance of the Governor's, the last gap is closed In the defense of Tenement House Reform. It is certainly a very gratifying result. It draws the curtain on the first stage of a movement that is entirely creditable to those who promoted it and to the community that supported it. It would not be fair, however, to leave the statement at this point, without recording how largely the victory has been the per¬ sonal triumph of Mr, de Forest, If Mr. de Forest could not have succeeded without the support of those who have seconded him, loyally and with enthusiasm, it is equally certain that Tenement House Reform would not occupy the established position it does to-day had it not been even more than fortunate in the selection of its first administrative ofBcial, Mr. de Forest is the one fact, iu a long controversy, about which there has never been two opinions. If Governor Odell can say that the signing of the Tenement Hoiise Law has afforded him more personal satisfac¬ tion than any other ofiicial act of his, one may feel that Mr. de Forest's still greater satisfaction cannot be augmented fay any word of ours or of his fellow-citizens. It has been said that no one who needs a monument should ever have one. In that sense, Mr, de Forest is entitled to a rising vote of thanks from New Yorkers irrespective of politics or opinions of any kind. The Present Situation of the flortgage Tax Bill. IT seems scarcely worth while to argue the question of the mortgage tax bill on its merits as a desirable addition to the tax system of the state. It is not proposed for any such pur¬ pose; it is not defended by any such arguments; its passage is not being pressed oa any such grounds. The Governor himself has admitted that the mortgager will pay the tax; and that it is in effect double taxation of real estate. He has fixed upon, as a means of raising revenue, partly because, as he believes, it cannot escape a properly drawn law, partly because it will be a great revenue producer; and partly because he believes that although it is double taxation it will, by removing the uncer¬ tainties of the present situation really enable mortgagors eventually to borrow money as cheaply as they do now, if not more cheaply. But of these different reasons the first is really paramount with the Governor, He has a fixed idea that he must get rid of the general tax levy of .the state at any expense and by any means; and as apparently he can do so only by taxing real estate indirectly rather than directly, he is foolish enough to make this attempt to cure a small evil by creating a larger one. And he was, until recently, determined to force his pro¬ posals through by the most drastic means of coercion he has at his command. We believe, nevertheless, that the passage of the bill can be prevented, but only by making the Legislature and the Gover¬ nor understand what a disastrous thing the enactment of such a law would be for the Republican administration of this state. Not only would it instigate an immense amount of litigation, not only would it disturb the money market by the calling in of all mortgages which become due in the event of such a tax, not only would ic create an amount of confusion in the whole money lending market, which would have unfavorable effect upon all kinds of business, but what is worse, for the Republi¬ can administration, is that it would arouse the resentment and opposition of the hundreds of thousands of thrifty people in this state, who own land, but cannot afford to do so without turning part of its value into working capital. These people are in general the moderately well off members of the community, the intelligent and industrious middle class, who are rarely bound inflexibly by party lines, and who would express their resentment at the polls. If the Legislature and the Governop can be made to feel the opposition of this class, if they can be