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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 74, no. 1895: July 9, 1904

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July 9, 1904. RKCORD AND GUIDE 'gy ■• ESTABU3HED Sp WWPH 2. DEvijiED 10 F^L Estate . BuiLDilJ'G Apcii'rrECTURE .^ousEtloU) DECffl^ATioH. BusiiJess Alto Themes Of Gei4er&I IjItei^esi. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS Published eVery Saturday Communicatlona should bo addressed to C. W. SWEET* 14-16 Vesey Street, New Yorfc J, T. LINDSEY, Buaineaa Manager , Telephone. Ctortlandt 3157_ "Entered at ihe pjst O^ioe at New York, N. Y.. as'second-class matter." Vol. LXXIV. JULY 9, 1904. No. 1895 THE mortgage records for the six months throw an interr sstiiig side light upon the course of tbe real estate market during that period. Pome 8.;i^S mort.c,ages on Manhattan prop¬ erty were recorded during the first six months of the year, against 6,675 for the corresponding period of 190S, an increase influmher of 1,P53, or about twenty jier cent. On the other hand, there was a decrease, in the aggregate amount o£ money loaned from over $159,000,000 in 190i> to over $151,OOO.C00 in 1904, The average snm of money carried hy each mortgage, rtscreased from $24,000 to JIS.OOO, which indieat°s the comparative absence- of large transactions. It should'he added, however, that the totals given above have been very much influenced by the filings for January and February, during which the condition of the'money market was so extremely unfavorable, and that were these months omitted there would he much less discrepancy between the, totals qf the two years. During June, for instance, the com¬ parison is all in favor of .the cuirent year.. Some 57,000,000 more money-was loaned during the J-une of 1904 than during the June of 1903, but this money was loaned on the whole at higher-rates of interest: Over $15,000,000 more money has been put out at five^iier cent. duriilg'tKe first six months of 1904 than during the first sfx months of 1903. and more than ?4,000,0C0 at rates of iDterest greater than five per cent. On the other hand, almost $25,000,000 less money has been loaned during the current year at rates of interest lower, than five per cent, than during 1;he same period last year, and some $8,000,000 less money has baeu loaned by banks, insurance and trust companies. It should be noted, however, that these institutions.are constantly loaning comparatively larger sums of money on real estate. During the past three months, for instance, they have loaned some $7,000,000 more than they did during the corresponding three months of 1903. THERE have been more than the usual number of ri;mors lately respecting the proposed consolidations of local trac¬ tion companies. The stories rua either that the Interborough Compacy has absorbed the Metropolitan Securities Co. or that the Metropolitan Securities Co. has absorbed the Interborough Co. and neither of them seems to have any foundation at the present time. Yet it is absolutely certain tbat in the long run some such consolidation will be made. The motives which ordinar¬ ily operate in favor of consolidating railroads that partly com¬ pete with each other and partly supplement each other are very much stronger in the case of city railways than in the longer steam lines, the consequence being that the transit service of every important city in the country is either already concen¬ trated in the hands of one corporation, or else is in the way of ■being so concentrated. In any particular case it is only a ques¬ tion of cost. In the cases of the New York transit companies this is a difficult question, because the three systems which control service are themselves the result of much previous con¬ solidation, and since this process has proved to be very ex¬ pensive their income is burdened with heavy obligations. In the course of time the growth of the city will enable the Metro¬ politan Securities Company and the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company to carry their burdens and still make a substantial profit; but the controllers of these corporations will not sell out until they can capitalize this future profit. The day, however, will come when it will be cheaper to consolidate than to wait and fight; and on that day the New York transit service will be controlled by a corporation where gross earnings will be in the neighborhood of $50,000,000 a year, and which will have an enormous influence on the prosperity and growth of the city. There is no doubt that such a corporatioii would be in a better positioa to give the people of New York an efficient transit ser¬ vice than would three different 'companies; and probably its management would attempt to keep its patrons in good humor. The gi-eat danger would arise from the relations of such a cor¬ poration with the city government. While we do not believe tbat it would be rich enough to buy the kind of government it wanted, and while there is much better standard in such mat¬ ters thari there was twenty years ago, still a corporation em¬ ploying so many men and dispensing so much money would exercise an enormous indirect influence and would excite oppo¬ sition as bitter as any support which it could purchase. There can be no doubt that in order to meet the situation such a cor¬ poration would create, special powers should be granted to the city government. A commissioa of inspection and regulation would be necessary and the municipal officials should be enabled to build municipal competing lines if such competition should in the course of time become necessary. The First Half of 1904. i THIS has been a curious half year in the history of New ' York real estate. There has been unprecedented activity in certain classes of property and in certain parts of the city, but this restricted activity has left the majority of brokers and operators, comparatively speaking, unemployed. The con¬ sequence is that in spite of the fact that the aggregate number of the transactions recorded is larger than ever before in the history of the city, it has undoubtedly been on the whole a duU and unprosperous season for people interested in real estate and building. Property owners have been confronted with the un¬ usual situation of a good renting combined with a poor selling season, and builders with every inducement to erect apartment houses acd tenements have been unable to do so, because of their inability to borrow the necessary money. Taking Man¬ hattan and the Bronx together, there have been some 12.728 transfers recorded against only 10.635 for the corresponding period of 1903—an increase of'fully twenty per cent. It should be added that half of this increase occurred in the Bronx and that the transactions in the Borough north of the Harlem were 50 per cent, more in number during the first six months of 1B04 than they were during the first six months of 1903. This is thegreat fact developed bythe course of the market recently—the fact that the Bronx is destined to become in the near future! the locality in wh:ch the greatest activity will take place. Iti spite of the fact that the population of Brooklyn is four times as ' large as that of the Bronx, the larger Borough is spending less than half'as much onnew buildings as the Smaller one, and we should not be surpfiSed to find the Bronx second only to Man- ' hattan within a few yeai^i ih the estimated cost'of i'ts projected'! buildings. ' ■ '' ■ . '' So far as the figures for the present year are concerned the' Bronx has made up for the deficiency in the Manhattan totals. Taking the two boroughs together, the buildings projected dur¬ ing the first six months of the present year called for an expendi¬ ture of $46,612,590 against $46,013,500 for the corresponding! period of last year. This is a small increase, but it has occurred' entirely in tbe Bronx. The new buildings in the course of erec¬ tion in that Borough are estimated to cost almost twice as much as the new buildings projected during the first six months of 1903. This is an enormous jump and indicates a prospect of rapid development which was hardly to be anticipated and which is the more extraordinary considering the inaccessibility of the Borough. In Manhattan the new building for which plans have been filed during the current year call for expenditure of more than $5,- 000,000 less than for the corresponding period of the year before. The figures are $37,322,715 for 1904 and $42,643,685 for 1903. Decreases have talien place in the amount of money invested in every important class of building except tenements. Take, for instance, tbe case of business buildings. During the first six months of 1902 plans were filed for 119 new structures of this class to be erected at an estimated cost cf $18,037,500. During the corresponding period of last year the number of projected business buildings increased to 124; but their estimated cost diminished to 513,380.000. while the figures for the current year are 115 for the number and $11,429,000 for the amount. The decrease from the year before is not very large, particularly when it is considered that tbe figures for 1903 contained one building—the Wanamaker store^which was estimated to cost $3,000,000. But the decrease from the figures of 1902 is very large, indeed, and undoubtedly measures very well the slacken¬ ing which has taken place during the meantime in the vigor of the business expansion. A much larger shrinkage has taken place in the amount of money invested in apartment hotels. During the first sis months of 1903 plans were filed for 22 new hotels to be built, at an estimated cost of $5,468,000, aud these figures were much smaller than those of the year before. Ho\".'- ever, the figures of the current year are still smaller. Plans havfc been filed so far in 1904 for only sgven hotels to be built at an °stiniated cost of $2,195,000. As for the number of new pri-