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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 74, no. 1909: October 15, 1904

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October 15, 1904 KECORD AND GIJIDE 777 \"e>^ "^ ESTABUSHED ^ JAARPHSm^ IS68, Dairo) p f^E^L EsTAjE. BuiLoif^G A,RCJ<'rrECTURE .J{oiisd!oid DegqrhicmI. .Bu3u/ess Alio Theses OF GEtte^l iKfERfsi. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS Published eVerp Satardag Communications should bo addressed to C. TV. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street, New YorR J. T. LINDSEY, BusJneas Manager Telophons. Cortlandt 3157 "Enlered at the Post Office at New York, JV. Y.. as second-class mallei:" Vol. LXXIV. October 15. 1904. TX TITH tlie news of the week favorable for advancing Jt it prices the stock market iias until Friday, waited. Certain specialties were marked up a few points; but for tlie most part gains which were made in tbe morning were lost in tbe afternoon. Or .'n otber cases losses whicb took place in the morning were recouped in tbe after¬ noon. But this very hesitation must be described as a whole¬ some change. Manipulation bas l:(.'en less evident than during tbe immediately preceding weeks. Tbe undertone bas been strong. Tbe amount of commission business bas been fair, and tbe bond market bas been advancing more rapidly tban tbe stock market. All these facts point to the probability that the present bull movem.eut has not yet run its course. Tbe securities of tbe industrial companies, for in¬ stance, may be further advanced, particularly as soon as it becomes evident tbat tbe railroads are really beginning to make purchases of materials more freely. Then, too, it is evident that the coming year is to be a very active one for the building industry, and announcements are again being made of the preparation of plans for new and large buildings—such as the new hotel wbicb is going up on Michigan Avenue ia Chicago. Altogether it looks more every day as the country, having paid in 1903 and early in 1904 for the excesses of 1901 and 1902 Is about to resume the course of its business expansion. T-HE current real estate transactions are breaking all records for their volume. The total for the current week is over 200, which is as large as the largest week which was recorded last spring, and is thrice as large as the transactions of the cor¬ responding week in 1903. At this rate the coming spring will not merely break records, but will be so far ahead of previous years as to constitute a class by itself. The demand i^ still chiefly for tenements or for vacant propevty on which tenements can be built; but there is sufhoient dealing in other classes of real es¬ tate to warrant the expectation tlat tbe list of transactions Will by the first of the year be as broad as it is long. Four expensive dwellings in the fashionable district,for instance.bave been sold during the week, wbich may mean tbat the- demand for this class of property is improving—as it should improve considering the conditions of things in Wall Street. The fact that the building lock-out drags on is discouraging the consum¬ mation of big transactions: but as the length of the fight merely measures the completeness of the victory of the Employers' Association, and tbe exhaustion of its opponents, it has its good aspects. The arbitration agrccmert, when it emerges from the present struggle will be something to be reckoned witb. There Is every reason to suppose that large transactions can soon be undertaken with full conviction that the buildingr. will be fin¬ ished on contract tirae. There is absolutely no flaw in the situation except the continuation of the lock-out and that should soon disappear. T T will reassure tax-payers to learn that both Mayor McClellan ■^ and-ComiJtroller Grout are d"lermined that the Budget for the coming year, which is now being provisionally put together, will not call for an expenditure of over $3,000,000 more tban the expenditure for tbe current year. Indeed, it should be made a fixed rule that tbe increase in the municipal appropriations should not exceed the increase in tbe regular ipcome, tbe in¬ crease in the regular income being calculated as the sum of money which will be produced by the same tax-rate from the normal increase in the assessc-d valuation. It is true that in the past the municipal expenditure has been growing faster than eitber the wealth or the population of tbe city has been grow¬ ing. It has increased by some fifty per cent, since consolidation seven years ago, while population has increased in less tban half that proportion. Thia increase, however, was the result partly of consolidation itself—of the attempt which was made as the result of consolidation to pay tho same salaries in tbe outlying borough^ as were paid in Manhattau. But this process of levelling up the scale of expenditures in tbe several boroughs to that of Manhattan has been completed; and hereafter it should be a cardinal principle of tbe Board of Estimate tbat the tax rate should not be increased. It will certainly go hard with any administration, which makes itself responsible for such an in¬ crease. One of the chief reasons of the unpopularity of the Van Wyck regime was that it produced the impression of being extravagant. Now tbat tbe assessed valuations are or are sup¬ posed to be as near as possible to 100 per cent., the increase in the tax rate measures accurately the increase in the tax-bills, and it was a plain significance, which it never had before. Furthermore the present tax-rate multiplied by the increase in assessed valuations should in the future produce an abundant increase in income, provided the 100 per cent, rule of assess¬ ment is etiuitably enforced. During the'next few years tbe better means of communication with the outlying boroughs will increase enormously the value of vast areas of unimproved prop¬ erty in the Bi'onx, Brooklyn and Queens. It will r.ot be the case as it has been recently in Manbattan of higher values in re¬ stricted districts. Great tracts of territory will be made ac¬ cessible all at once; population will rush in; and since all this property will be in tbe way of improvement tnere can be no obfection to assessing it as high as improved property. At pres¬ ent the outlying boroughs cost the city treasury a large propor¬ tion of its gross income than they yield; but this disproportion should be repaired within the next five years. EVERY successive week shows more and more plainly that the Iqng anticipated Washington Heights movement has fairly begun. Of late trading in the Dyckman tra":t beyond Fort George has beeu particularly active, aud large amounts of property have been purchased with a view to improvement in the spring or sooner. So far it is the building loan operator rather than the builder who is prominent in buying, but as the loan operator necessarily precedes the builder under contem¬ porary conditions, it is fair to infer that the property is all in the way of Improvement. Three years ago a rich syndicate of operators secured large tracts of vacant property on the Heights, without, however, buying to any extent in the flat lands beyond. This syndicate has not as yet made any sustained attempt to place its property on tbe market; but it will doubtless do so within the. next few months. Thus all kinds of real estate in all parts of the district will be in the process of mobilization; and it is probable tbat the new buildings which v.ill be erected there in 1905 will cost between $10,000,000 and ?15,000,000. So far during the current year plans have been filed for some GO tenements and flats to be built on Washington Heights, at a cost of $2,554,000. Plans have also beeu flled for 26 private dwellings, to be built at a cost of $426,500. Considering that in 1903 only 8 apartment houses and tenements and only 8 dwellings were built in the same district, it will be seen that the movement has already achieved substantial results. The tendency runs thus far in the direction of a cheap type of build¬ ing. The dwellings will cost on the average somewhat over $15,000 each, and the tenements $50,000. Of the 60 tenements and flats about two-thirds are five-story buildinss; but the pro¬ portion of six-story buildings is increasing; and it is probable that in another year the prices of property will bave so far in¬ creased tbat the six-story type will become almost universal. It looks as if the movement would begin with the activity pre¬ vailing chiefly in low-priced tenements; but it will include eventually as diversifled a class of buildings as one finds on the West Side. Builders who used to operate in West Side dwell¬ ings, but have beeu recently active on the East Side, will soon take advantage of the opportunities wbich the Heights will offer. APROPOS of the attempt of the Tax Department to make the assessed valuation of real property as near as possi¬ ble to 100 per cent, of the actual value, the records published every week in tbe Record and Guide make some interesting dis¬ closures. It is rarely possible to make a valid comparison; be¬ cause almost all the transfers contain only nominal considera¬ tions; but when, as is frequently the case, a piece of property is mortgaged for more tban it is assessed, either the man who has loaned the money or tho man who makes the assessment has been delude,d. The most crsual inspection of the convey¬ ances published in tbe last nu:-iber of the Re 'ord and Guide reveals cases wbich will bear explanntion. Thus a stable at No. 133 W. 52d St. was transferred for an expressed consideration