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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 76, no. 1963: October 28, 1905

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October 28, 1905 RECORD AND GUTOE 643 ^ ESTAEUSHED ^ (MR.CH £ti^^ 186 8, "[tofrlED TO fW^EsTAIE.euiLDIffc A,ncKn£CTiiRE,HoiisnloU)DEet?iJiBi^i BUSIt^ESS AltoTHEIilES Of GEjtR,fcl.ll(TEit,ES1,_. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS Published every Saturday CTommunloatlona should ne addreaaed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street, New York * Telephone, Cortlandt 3157 parcels were, to a very considerable extent, professional opera¬ tors; and the incident shows that the regular professional de¬ mand for property, even in unspeculative neighborhoods, is sufficient to enable a property-owner to sell his property, It necessary, -without sacrificing it. It must he a very worthless piece of real estate, indeed, which, if it can be purchased at a fair price, will not offer to some operator the opportunity to make a. good profit. "Entered at the Post Offlce at New York. N. Y. as second-class matter." CopyriEht by the Real Estate Raeord and Builders' Guide Company. No. 1963 Vol. LXXVI. OCTOBER 2S, 1003. INDE5X TO DEPARTMENTS, Advertising Section. Page Page Cement ....................ssv Law .....................ix Clay Products .............xxiv Machinery ..................v Contractors and Builders___vl Metal Work .................xxi Fireprooflng...............ii Stone ....................xxvi Granite ..................xxvi Quick Job Directory.......xxix Heating ...................xxii RgliI Estate................xi Iron and Steel..............xix Wood Products ........xxviii THB bullish movement which was started in the stocks of certain industrial specialties towards the end of last week has gone the way of all recent movements of the same kind. It had a few days of success; but beyond a deflnite point it met with stiff resistance, and during the week now ended the in¬ creases in quotations have been slowly crumbling away. This is but another indication that the time is not yet; neverthe¬ less, the movement was, to a certain extent, justified. The railway supply companies have the assurance of a year of active and profitable business; and before it is over it is probable that many of them will be able to resume the payment of divi¬ dends upon their common stocks. If such proves to be the case, there is room for more of an advance in the securities of these companies than there is in the great mass of railroad securities. The seven per cent, preferred stock of a well-managed indus- ti-ial corporation should sell above 110; and it might sell even as high as 120. In certain cases such stocks already sell as high as that; and when the dividends on other stocks of the same class are secured by a further accumulation of profits, so that they can hardly be interferred with during a period of de¬ pression, they ought to he worth 120 on an investment basis. But, as we have said, no matter how good this reasoning may be, the time is not yet. For the present undoubtedly conser¬ vative principles counsel a waiting market; and it is apparent that the conservative infiuences propose to control the situation. Every indication, however, continues to look in the direction of a persistence of good business throughout 1906. The rail¬ roads would not be investing so many million dollars in new rolling stock did they uot have the best reasons for anticipating a year in which the freight offered for shipment will assumo an unprecedented volume. THE success of the auction sale of the Aldrich Estate, which took place on Wednesday of the past week, must be ac¬ counted for partly by the good general demand which exists at the present time for improved real estate in Manhattan and partly hy the excellence of the arrangements which preceded the sale and prepared for it. It is rare that satisfactory prices will be obtained at a sale of this kind unless the fact and the details of the sale are well advertised; and in this instance the gentlemen responsible for the sale did not spare expense in placing and keeping a list of the property to be offered before the public. The consequence was that on the whole a very fair level of values was obtained—particularly for the medium- priced properties. The two large parcels on lower Broadway sold, indeed, for prices which were low rather than high; and the purchasers of both of these parcels will he able to realize In the course of time a handsome profit on their investment. But while the prices were not high, they would have been con¬ sidered high not so very long ago. The remainder of the prop¬ erty was situated for the most part in the wholesale business district. This is not a part of the city in which real estate is ever active in the speculative sense. It is a district in which property returns a safe and fair income on an investment; but it is not a part of the city in which any early or large increases in value can be expected. Nevertheless, the prices obtained were as high as could be anticipated, and they should be very satisfactory to the heirs of the estate. The buyers of these IT is an encouraging sign that, in spite of the enormous busi¬ ness which is being transacted in the various branches of the iron and steel trades, the prices of the most important forms of iron and steel manufacture have not soared anything like as high as they did either in 1899 or in 1902. According to the Iron Age, Bessemer pig iron sold in Pittsburg for $22.05 in 1902 and $25 in 1S99, whereas its present price is only $16.60. In 1S99 the highest monthly average price for Bessmeer billets was $39; in 1902 it was $35,20, while at present it is $26. Beams are selling now at $1.70, against $2,35 in 1902 and $2.25 in 1899. These figures show plainly that the steel trade is under very much better control than it was during the last two periods of great prosperity; and there can be no doubt that this con¬ trol is in somo measure consciously and intentionally exBr- cised. Leading interests have refused to advance prices, when such advances were economically possible, because they wanted to prevent a runaway market; and the success of these con¬ servative interests in preventing prices from passing the danger point indicates that the reaction when it comes is cot likely, to be either so severe or so sudden as it was in 1903. Indeed, there is no reason why the American steel trade should not hereafter be spared the terrific and dangerous fluctuations be¬ tween opulence and starvation, which have marked its past. Of course, there will he periods of comparatively good and periods of comparatively poor business; but if prices can be pre¬ vented from becoming excessively high at one time, it should also be possible to prevent them from becoming excessively low at another time. Moreover, the prospect that the great ma¬ jority of the important American steel roads have been placed permanently on the list of dividend-payers will in tbe long run make a considerable difference to the steel industry. The rail¬ roads are tho great consumers of steel; and, in case their finances are permanently improved, their purchases from the steel manufacturers should not vary in different years as largely as they have done heretofore. It will, consequently, be ex¬ tremely interesting to see whether the conservatism which is characterizing the existing prosperity of the steel trade will serve to prolong the period of good business as well as to break the fall—when it comes. THE action that the Fire. Underwriters have taken recently in regard to "fireproof" wood is set forth in another column of this issue. The individual who can stand up in the face of this action and still assert the value of treated wood as fire¬ proof material must either have some pecuniary interest to serve or be possessed of a mental apparatus that works natu¬ rally on the "bias." If the Underwriters do not value fireproot wood, to whom is it valuable? We are speaking, of course, of fireproof wood in connection with the construction of our "sky¬ scrapers" wherein it is ludicrously unnecessary. There may well be a place ^for it elsewhere as a fire retardant or fire stop in a structure of high combustability where wood and wood only can be used. Even in these cases, however, concrete is now offered at a cost only slightly in excess of the cost of plain un¬ treated lumber. Tbis, however, is beside the immediate matter, which is that the legal requirement regarding fireproof wood should be expunged promptly from the Building Code. THE "Evening Mail" takes the title insuranee companies to task, because they charge for examining the title to a par¬ cel of real estate which they refuse to guarantee; and itcompares the title insurance companiea unfavorably in tbis respect with fire or life insurance companies, which when they refuse to in¬ sure charge nothing for the examination. But surely this com¬ parison is based upon an absurd misunderstanding of the func¬ tion of title insurauce, as contrasted to that of life insurance. When a company insures a man's life, it assumes the risk of contracting to pay a certain sum of money in return for a com¬ paratively small annual premium; and it takes this risk he- cause it is a matter of experience that if a man enjoys ordinary good health, he will probably live an average number of years. He may not do so in any particular case; but in a large number of cases the company can count upon the main¬ tenance of the average. The only purpose of the examination is to obtain some assurance that a particular case haa the average chance of life for a man of his age, and the expense of the examination ia exceedingly small compared to one year's