Back in high school there was an unpleasant sickness that seemed to roil every member of the class who had a college acceptance in their back pocket.
We’re speaking, of course, of senioritis.
This is the affliction in which, after 12 yearsof schooling, the senior in question whines: Can’t I be done with this already?
Symptoms include half-assing assignments, cutting class to hang out with friends, smoking pot in the supermarket parking lot, and binge-watching “Laverne & Shirley.” In extreme cases, sufferers get threatening calls from the guidance counselor warning that if you don’t shape up they’re going to put in a call to the Pepperdine admissions office, and then you’ll be sorry.
As a nation, we’re still in the throes of something similar to senioritis.
On one hand, the COVID-19 pandemic is over, as President Biden said on “60 Minutes” more than a month and a half ago. The unemployment rate in mid-October was 3.5 percent, the lowest in five decades. We should be happy.
And yet we’re still dragging our posteriors out of bed. We’re still erratically handing in our work. (“Quiet quitting,” anyone?) And we’re still cutting class. At least, that is, we’re not coming into our offices — not like we did when we were juniors!
To put our collective funk in more explicit real estate terms: Inflation has completely upended the cost of borrowing money. Cap rates are terrible. Companies continue to balk when it comes to signing leases. Everything feels frozen.
One of the reasons we do a publication like Owners Magazine is to ask some of the top people directly: How tight is money? What deals have fallen through? Are people actually coming back to the office? Are you coming back to the office?
And just to prove that we at CO are not suffering from senioritis, we did some extra-credit work, too. Mark Hallum took a look at the seemingly bulletproof single-family and multifamily housing market. Andrew Coen looked at how difficult the appraisal and lending process has become. And Julia Echikson examined how one of the richest enclaves on Earth (Indian Creek, aka Billionaires’ Bunker) is girding itself against catastrophic climate change.
Perhaps because we have high school on the brain, we also asked the owners we interviewed this year to share some photos of when they were actual seniors. And in that spirit we also asked them to rank who among their peers had the best car, was the best athlete, was most likely to succeed, and who was class clown.
Hopefully, when all is said and done we’ll look back on Owners Magazine 2022 a little like a yearbook. It was an awkward time. One phase was ending. Another was beginning. And can’t we just be done with this already?