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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 78, no. 2006: August 25, 1906

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August 25, 1906. RECORD A^D GUIDE 329 ESTABUSHED-S5;; tfJ^RpHSIii. M868. Dev&teD id Re^L Estate , BuiLdi;/g AplcH'itectur.e .KouseHoid DEGOi^Tiotl, Business AifoTiiEMES op Ge^eraI lf/TEi\Esi, PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS published eVery Saturday Communications should bo addressed to C. W. SWEET Downtown Olfice: 14-16 Vesey Street. New York Telephouo, Cortl.indt 3157 Uptown Office: 11-13 East 24uh Street Tolophono, Madison Square 1696 ''Entered at the Tost Office at New York, N. Y.. as second-class matter." Vol, LXXVIIL AUGUST 25, 190G. No, 200G INDEX TO DEPARTMENTS, Advertising Section, Page, Page. Cement .....................xxiii Law.......................xi Consulting Engineers ..........x Lumber ...................xxviii Clay Products...............xxii Machinery ....................iv Contractors and Builders.......v Metal Work ................xvil Electrical Interests...........viil Quick Job Directory.'........xxvii Fireproofing ..................ii Real Estate .................xiii Granite .....................xxiv Roofers & Roofing Mater'Is. .xxvi Heating .......................xx Stone .......................xxiv Iron and Steel..............xviii Wood Products ............xxviii The Inde.\- lo Volume LXXVII of the Record and Guide, cover¬ ing the period between January i and June 30, 1906, will be ready for delivery on Tuesday, August 28. Price $1. This Index in its enlarged form is now recognised as indispensable to every one engaged or interested in real estate and building operations. It covers all transactions—deeds, mortgages, leases, auction sales, building plans filed, elc. Orders for the Inde.v should be sent at once to the office of publication, 14 and 16 k'cscy St. WALL STREET has sailed out from the shallows into deep water. This makes navigation safer in one regard, but more perilous in another. The conserving influence of a large short interest is gone. The bears have been terribly whipped, and without the sustaining influence of their re¬ purchases the market from this high level might easily have to sustain a bad .brealt should something decidedly adverse be encountered. But with the exception of possible money difficulty there is nothing disquieting in sight, A shrewd o1)server whose business calls him every sixty days to Chicago, and thence through the Indian Territory and Nevada, says that each journey reveals such surprising additions to the prosperity and optimism that what he considered a year ago as a dangerous boom has long since been distanced by the bull facts until now his feeling is one of surprise at the moderation of people rather than their enthusiasm. This criticism might well be extended to Wall Street measured by the unprecedented facts. Surely it cannot be charged that there is an unreasoning specu¬ lation current on the New York Stoclc Exchange. The temper of the Street indeed is to err on the side of safety. It is ever on the alert for danger signals, and they are welcomed in advance of their appearance. Any sort of phantom is readily accepted in lieu thereof with the resultant illogical and often unreasoning action. Consequently commission houses are not borrowing half the -money they were in 1901 and 1902, and their customers run like deer at the slightest sound of the financial tom-tom. The rapidly growing increase in the intrinsic value of railroad shares so constantly pointed out and enlarged upon in these columns, is being more intelligently discussed in connection with larger dividends being declared. It was an epoch-making day in American finance when the dividends by the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific companies were declared. And yet the ascertainable facts on analysis of their earnings and conditions could readily have been learned six months ago. The announcement seemed to surprise the average trader who is now, however, adopting these patent facts as the basis for his operations at the present high range of prices, when but a few weeks ago he was selling the same stoelts short. A financial writer says: "Anybody who knows anything at all about the Union Pacific Company and the Southern Pacific Company knows that the dividends just declared are ultra-conservative. By haggling over the question of speculative etiquette the Street is losing sight of the real backbone of the present advance, which is the tremendous crops." This is true, for the value of these stu- penduous yields cannot be less than $8,000,000,000. Consequently, corporation valuations of both railroads and industrials must necessarily benefit. This money question, however, is ever to the fore and could there be any assurance that there would be no normal rates between now and the end of the year, stocks would undoubtedly make new high records. With even six per cent, money it has been demonstrated that a great and broad bull movement is not easy to inaugurate. Uncer¬ tainty about money is calculated to discourage speculation and to che'ck the enthusiasm of the public in spite of the unpar¬ alleled underlying conditions and plethoric prosperity. THERE was published in the City Record during the past week the schedule of the assessed valuation of real estate on which taxes will be collected next fall. This is the list which was open for inspection early in January, and is now after an interval of more than seven months being given to the public in an available shape. Its publication is a very excellent thing; but surely the law ought to be changed so as to provide for the general distribution of the schedules at an earlier date. The delay of seven months, which now takes place before the appearance of this information in the City Record, is wholly unnecessary. By the employment of a little additional clerical assistance, a complete schedule could be given to property owners in an available form at least as early as the middle of April, and the saving of this time would be worth far more than it would cost. In a matter of this kind promptness of publication is quite as essential as accuracy rSid. completeness of publication. The longer the schedules are in the hands of the public before the assessments are finally con¬ firmed, the more likely will be the exposure of any unfair discriminations. One of the most valuable checks upon the existence of such discriminations is the publication in the Record and Guide of the assessed valuation of every parcel of Manhattan real estate which is conveyed; but the Record and Guide is very much handicapped in this work by the fact that the schedules are not published in the City Record until seven months after the books are thrown open. Inasmuch as we are necessarily dependent upon the numbers of the City Record in which it is furnished, this delay means that during seven months of the year the assessed valuations which we publish are those of the year preceding, and the value of the work which has been undertaken at a considerable expense is correspond¬ ingly diminished. The existing law ought to be modified at the coming session of the Legislature, providing for the publi¬ cation of the list in the City Record at least as early as May 1st. A CORRESPONDENT writes to the Record and Guide, and challenges the assertion made in the last number that the unrestricted building of skyscrapers is an economic advantage to the owners of extremely well-situated property. He admits that they believe it to be an advantage, and that they would fight strenuously against any curtailment of their existing liberties, but he believes them to be mistaken. He argues that if, for instance, the amount of business now transacted in the financial district were spread over a much larger area, the rents of offices in extremely well situated locations, such as those within a few hundred feet of the Stock Exchange, would be larger than they are at present. Good offices in the most convenient locations would be increasingly difficult to obtain, and would command proportionately higher prices. The effect of the building of skyscrapers is really to alleviate rather than to intensify tiie effects of the partial monopoly, which the owners of extremely well situated parcels of real estate possess. These parcels of real estate are in that way put to their maximum economic use, and both its owners and the public thereby receive the greatest possible advantage. The chief difference is that under the existing conditions the owner has to invest many millions of additional capital in order to secure the best available returns, where as under a system of legal restrictions on the height of buildings, he would obtain as large a net return with the investment of only a small amount of additional capital. This argument undoubtedly has a good deal of force. The first effect of any legal restriction on the height of buildings would probably be to depress somewhat the existing level of prices for gilt-edged real estate, because these pi'ices are based on the opportunity now afforded for the erec¬ tion of skyscrapers; but in the long run the effect of any restriction would be to malie the most advantageously situated property still more valuable, while at the same time increasing the value of real estate which is less conveniently located. In London, for instance, where the legal existence of "ancient lights," as well as local regulations, forbid the erection of sky¬ scrapers, the value of real estate in the financial district is if anything greater than it is in New York. If buildings more