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JA-ngust 12, 1899.
RECORD AJSTD GUIDE.
BtfsDfEss AiblÃ®KHBS or CsHDVl.ltfiatF*l<*
PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS.
y Published every Saturday.
TELEPHONE, COHTLANDT 1370.
'Ã‡cQununlcations should be addressed to
C. "W". SWEET, 14-16 Veaey Street.
j: 1. IJND8EY, Business Manager.
"Bntered at the Post-Oj5ice atNew York, N'. Â¥â€ž asseeond-i^assmatter."
AUGUST 12. 1890.
TJie Index to Volume LXIfl of the Jiecord and Guide, coverÂ¬
ing the period beticeen Janvary lst and June 30th, 1999, Ã®s noto
ready for delivery. Price, $1. This Index in Us enlarged form
is now reeognized as indispensable to every one engaged or
interested in real estate and building opÃ©rations. It eovers all
iransaetionsâ€”deeds, mortgages, leases, auction sales, building
â€¢Ã¢lans filed, etc. Orders for ihe Index should be sent at once
io the office of p.ubliealion, 14 and IG Vesey Street.
THAT spÃ©culative interest in tlie Stock Market is reviving is
shown by the advance in the Industrials this week. There
â– ffas doubtless a good deal of engineering in this advance, but
there was aiso assistance from outside, moderate in extent but
Ã®ikely to grow. So much is expected from the industrial activÂ¬
ity of the country that spÃ©culation in issues based upon it must
follow. When so intrinsically worthless an issue as leather com-
jQon can be made a feature and advance in one day 50 per cent.
upon its value of the day before, it shows the direction in which
spÃ©culative hopes are fixed. Looking back for a few months it
will be seen that though we hÃ¢ve had a halting market, it has
been a strong one, all things considered. Certain fears that acÂ¬
companied the close of the last movement as well as some that
liave cropped up since^of crop failures, dear money and an outÂ¬
break of yeilow fever, for instanceâ€”bave been or are being rapÂ¬
idly removed, and it follows that spÃ©culative activity as it reÂ¬
vives in WaU street will favor the long side, and wiU prefer the
issues that directiy represent those lines of business known to
be beneSting most from the revival of trade,
NOTHING is more calculated to promote peace in South
Afriea than the firm attitude taken by the British GovÂ¬
ernment as evinced by the Queen's speech in prorogation of ParÂ¬
liament. Mr. Chamberlain's remarks in the House of Gommons
and the dispatch of a considÃ©rable military force to Natal and the
Cape, To do other than seek a satisfactory compromise would
be an act of suicide on the part of the Transvaal Republic, and
that government is by no means given to self-destruction. It is
doubtless galling to- the Boers to bave to give way especially as
by permitting the privilÃ¨ges of the franchise to be immediately
avaiiable to the Outlanders the racial character of the Republic
will be changed and the future threaten a mergence into a South
African fÃ©dÃ©ration; but any other course threatens the oblitÃ©raÂ¬
tion of the State altogether, and that scon. The clearing up of
the Dreyfus mystery or the exposure of this most extraordinary
military plot without a purpose, will be another bad thing out
of the way, especially if it results in giving the prÃ©sent minis-
try a long term of power. Not since the days of the Empire has
there been a ministry in France that had so perfect a compre-
liension of the requirements of tbe situation combined with tbe
possession of the requisite courage to apply them. In Spain there
as a financial deadlcck, owing to the rejection of the governmenÂ¬
tal suggestions for funding the debt and providing for current
â– expenditures. Referring to the new Pranco-American commerÂ¬
cial treaty, a diplomatist is reported to bave remarked that
^America undersells England in cotton goods in China, and will
Jae able to do so in France aiso. Hitherto, only a small portion
of the American imports hÃ¢ve consisted of manufactures, $4,000,-
OOO only in a total of $87,500,000 in 1897, the last year for which
the classified returns bave been published, On the other hand,
the greater part of the French exports to the United States conÂ¬
sisted of manufactures, or $32,000,000 in a total of $44,800,000, and
TBith reduced duties the French hope for an expansion in this
trade. The Berlin market is finding encouragement in the sucÂ¬
cess of the Mexican conversion and the probable success of the
coming Bulgarian conversion. Money has lately been somewhat
easier. There are now 489 electrical works in Germany against
375 last year, an increase of 114 establishments or 20 per cent,
for the year. Besides 123 new establishments hÃ¢ve been put unÂ¬
der construction this year. In Vienna the bettered condition of
home politics and the improvement of the harvest prospecta hÃ¢ve
had favorable reflections on the bourse. Regarding Australian
fÃ©dÃ©ration conservative journals are pointing out that the suddea
adoption of intercoloniai free trade wili annihilate many local
interests and will thus temporarily cause trouble.
THE ADVANCE IN COST OP BUILDING.
-^ HE statistics of projected buildings for the current year
-A- form a remarkable record. In Manhattan and the Bronx,
alone, plans bave been filed for over $82,000,000 of new work. In
Brooklyn, plans were filed for about $16,000,000 worth of buildÂ¬
ing. ThÃ¨se are very large figures, almost unprecedented figures.
We bave had nothing like them for a great many years. They
are almost twice as large as the corresponding figures for last
It is usually supposed that the flgures of the Building DepartÂ¬
ment indicate approximately, though not exactly, the activity
of the building industry. Generally that is the case, and clearly
If it were the case this year, the New York builder and building
material man should be in a state of feverish excitement. New-
structures should be rising everywhere and the last word we
should expect to hear from the trade would be about dullnÂ«ss and
lack of orders.
Now it can't be said that the building material market at prÃ©sÂ¬
ent is inactive. On the contrary, in certain lines it Ã®s brisk. NevÂ¬
ertheless, it is true that actual conditions are a very long way
from conforming to the gigantic statistics of the Building DepartÂ¬
ment, Yet the statistics are correct.
â– 1 ne trouble lies in the fact that a considÃ©rable proportion of the
new structures planned for in the beginning of the year bave been
suspended, and in some cases abandoned, in consÃ©quence of the
unexpected advance in the cost of building materials and labor. lit
one architect's office, in this city, seven out of nine jobs hÃ¢ve
been "held up," Probably there is not an active office in the
city which would not report a somewhat similar state of affairs.
SpÃ©culative building, and tbat now forms tbe major part of all
the work done in New York City, has been arrested in an espeÂ¬
cial degree. This sort of opÃ©rations, being conducted mostly on
borrowed money is simply rendered impossible by any serious
sudden advance in prices. One of our busy architects has given
ns a ease that is typical of gÃªnerai conditions. About three
months ago. he drew plans for an eight-story mercantile buildÂ¬
ing, the cost of which, estimated upon then current prices, was
to be $45,000. His client prceeeded to finance the opÃ©ration upoa
that basis, and-three months later, that is, the other day, conÂ¬
cluded to begin work. Actual estimÃ¢tes were then received, and
it was found, to the confusion of everyone, that prices had adÂ¬
vanced about one-third, We are speaking now of the lowest esÂ¬
timÃ¢tes obtainable. Instead of ccsting $45,000, nearJy $60,00Â»
were needed to complÃ¨te the building. As illuminating the subÂ¬
ject, we append a few of the actual estimÃ¢tes received, comparing,
them with those of three months ago:
Prices three Lowest pres-
months ago. ent prices.
rronwork ....................... ?14.500 $23,895
Plumbing ..................... i,2S0 1975 :
Steam heat ..................... 2,400 3 600
Roofing, etc .................... 1,800 2,800
Mason work, labor, 10 per cent, advance.
Hardware, 100 per cent, advance,
It is hardly necessary to, complÃ¨te the story by the statement
that this particular eight-stcry mercantile building will not be
built, although it figures in the "record," and, clearly, if the record
were purged of the scores and scores of cases of this sort there
would be no need to explain why building opÃ©rations are not so
active as statistics make them. There are other reasons for
the conditions prevailing at prÃ©sent, but the one we hÃ¢ve given Is.
important enough to stand alone.
Exactly in what way the matter wilÃ® work itself out, it is not
easy to see. Some people are inclined to think that a great many
of thÃ¨se "suspended" opÃ©rations will only be temporarily delayed. â–
Investors and operators will wait for a time, but when they find
that the advance in prices is not a merely temporary circumÂ¬
stance they will adjust themselves to the situation and get ta
business. Work must -go on. PriÃ©es- may even go higher and
each advance will frighten a certain number of people into doing
something from fear of flnding themselves in a worse position
by and by. We are inclined to think that the builder will be
wisest wbo accepts the prÃ©sent market as being as favorable as
anything he will get for at least a year or two to come. Pricea
that hÃ¢ve ruled, of rÃ©cent years, hÃ¢ve been ruinously low, and tha
man who did not take advantage of them, has missed his chanca