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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 77, no. 1976: January 27, 1906

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January 27, 1906 RECOKD AND GUIDE -141 ESTABUSHED ^ (^RRpH Sl^.i^ 1668. Devotes p ?^ Estaji.SuiLditJg Aftcifitectji\e ,KousnfoLDDesoratioiJ. Btfsii^Ess AfioThemes OFGeiJeraI 1j^ter,es-[, PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS Published every ■Saturday Communications should ba nddrossci! to C. W. SWEET. 14-lG Vesey Street, New York Telephone, Cortlandt 3157 "Entered al tlie Pfist O.^ce at Ketc Yorl; Ii''. Y.. as second-class mailer." Vol, LXXVir. JANUARY 27. 190G. No. 1976 INDEX TO DEPARTMENTS, Advertising Section. Page. Page. Cement......................xxiii Law............................x Clay Products.................xxii Lumber ...................xxviii Consulting Engineers.........vii Machinery .....................iv Contractors and Metal Work ..................xix Eleetrical Interests...........viii Quick Job Directory.........xxvii Fireproofing....................ii Real Estate...................xii Granite .....................xxiv Roofers & Roofing Materials,xxvi Heating .......................xx Stone ......................xxiv Iron and steel...............xviii Wood Products...............xxix EVERY morning during the past weelc the reports in the daily newspapers have described the stock market of the day before as irregtihir; and it is very important for every¬ body interested as a holder of securities to discover just what this irregularity means. Is the bull campaign merely taking breath before making further progress? Or does the uncer¬ tain movement of prices signify the beginning of a process uf liciuidatioii? On the whole it looks as if the flrst of these ex¬ planations was the nearer correct. Since January 1 heavy advances have taken place in many prominent railroad and in¬ dustrial stocks, and there has been a certain improvement all along the line. It was not to be supposed that such ad¬ vances could be continued indefinitely without periodic re¬ actions; and at different times during the week a number of different stocks have been subjected to the pressure of very heavy selling which resulted in quick aud large declines in prices, rt was noticeable, however, that while the quotations for these prominent stocks were shrinking, those of many other stocks, whose previous movements had been only mod¬ erate, were advancing, and it was noticeable also that t-he stocks which suffered most from the pressure were the stocks, whose prices had been most rapidly and dangerously ad¬ vanced. In short there has been at no time any general sell¬ ing movement, and the stocks which were offered were for the most part readily absorbed by the market. Every re¬ action was succeeded by a rally, and the speculative situation seems still to remain substantially sound. There are a num¬ ber of good stocks on the list which can be advanced further w^.aout becoming excessively high in price, and it does not look as if it were time as yet for a bull speculator to get rid of his stocks. That time may not be very remote, for it is Im¬ probable that such an excited speculation cannot continue without becoming after a while top-heavy, and incurring a reaction which will have much the same effect ou the market as the reaction which took place last IWay. But current con¬ ditions are all that a man who believes in higher prices can ask for. Very prudent men may, perhaps, think that It is time to quit, and such a course would undoubtedly have much to recommend it; but the risk which a speculator most take who is carrying an average line of stocks does not just at present seem to be excessive. THE only centre of active speculation in the real estate market continues to be the neighborhood in the vicinity of the Pennsylvania terminal, and the trading in this vicinity is occupied more with properties on the side streets than witn those on the avenues. This is doubtless because the old buildings on the side streets have not advanced so much in price that they fail to carry themselves, whereas prices on both Sixth and to a smaller extent on Seventh avenues have reached a level, which makes tlie income from existing build¬ ings insufficient in many instances to do much more than pay the necessary expenses. Hence speculators prefer to deal in property on the side streets, where the prices asked by owners bear a closer relation to current income. Moreover, while the future of this district seems to be assured, there Is still so much doubt about the form which the improvements will take that speculators are cautions about bidding up prices on the avenue too high. The district needs, unfortunately, not merely improvement, but reformation, and the process of reforming it into a clean and prosperous business neighbor¬ hood will necessarily occupy a good many years. It is In¬ teresting to note, however, that an operator who has made a great deal of money by leasing old buildings on Porty-second street and improving them has begun to operate in this neigh¬ borhood.' A great deal of money has been made of late years in this class of operation, which does not need very large capital, and which offers great opportunities of profit with¬ out any corresponding risk. The rest of the trading during the week has been concerned more with vacant lots and tene¬ ments than anything else. There are no indications of any diminution in the rate at which new teuement house con¬ struction is being planned, and the filings at the Building De¬ partment for the current year are running ahead of the large totals of 1905. There can be no doubt that the amount of this new tenement house construction runs far beyond the actual needs of the city, and that Manhattan and the Brons are beginning a period of several years in which the tenant will have the better of the landlord. Nothing, however, will avail to diminish the amount of new tenement house con¬ struction except a reduction in rents, and it is probable that in the newer districts such a reduction will take place before long. The older districts, among which the better part of the West Side and Harlem must now be classed, will not feel these adverse conditions as keenly as will the Bronx or Wash¬ ington Heights, but it will be dangerous Io build in those neighborhoods during the near future on a narrow margin. 'T^HERE is no better way of making a cause hopeless than ■■■ by acting on such a belief. The Mail and Express be¬ lieves that the idea of repealing the mortgage tax law is wholly visionary, and it counsels real estate owners and brokers, con¬ sequently, to spend their time in advocating some remedial legislation which there is some chance of passing. But how does the Mail know that there Is no chance of repeal? Any¬ body can see that the chance is not very bright, because of the attitude of Governor Higgins; but there is no reason to sup¬ pose that, if sufficient pressure is brought to bear upon him, he may not be induced to change his mind. At all events the only way to find out what can or cannot be accomplished is to make the attempt. Bad taxes remain on the statute books only because the protest against them is not vigorous aud insistent enough. The agitation against the mortgage tax may not succeed this year or next year, but if it is as bad a tax as its opponents claim, they will either succeed in repealing it in the end or else they will deserve to fail. No man or body of men ever got either what they wanted or what they be¬ lieved to he right by sitting in their chairs and declaring that their cause was hopeless. Lack of hope is merely an ex¬ pression of lack of will. The fact is that the agitation against re¬ peal is gaining in strength, and its leaders are adopting the only course of action that can possibly be effective. The matter rests with the Reppblican members of the Legislature from this city. They have agreed to stand together in agitating for repeal, and if they persist both in their agitation and thsir agreement, they may gain their point. New York has for years been victimized by the rural legislators, because Its repre¬ sentatives were whipped by their party leaders into a.bandou- ing tbe interests of their constituents, but party discipline is relaxed in the present Legislature, and a fine opportunity is presented by an aggressive and insistent minority to make its righteous claims heard. Even, however, if the Governor re¬ fuses to be convinced, a repeal bill should be passed. If pos¬ sible, by a combination of the Democrats and the protesting Republicans, and the responsibility of preventing repeal should be placed squarely upon Mr. Higgins' shoulders. The only good way to protest is to protest with all your might, and to carrj' the action demanded thereby as far as possible. You may still fail, but you are thereby placing the responsibility for failure where it belongs, and you are preparing tor success hereafter. TWO bills will be submitted to the Legislature embodying the results of the investigation of Mayor McClellan's Advisory Commission on Taxation and Finance. This com¬ mission was requested first to consider the serious question of the city's uncollectible arrears of personal taxes. These uncollectible personal taxes amount to something over $30,- 000,000, and the deficiency is increasing at the rate of several million dollars a year. Up to the present time this deficiency has been met by the simple expedient of Issuing larger amounts of revenue bonds; but it is authoritatively stated that this method cannot be continued wittiQUt seriously embarrassing