If there’s a phrase of the week in commercial real estate — and seemingly everywhere else — it has to be “fiscal cliff.” In previous months, you might have bumped into this term here or there as part of the presidential election seasonal background. But in conversation at NAR Conference & Expo 2012, “fiscal cliff” is a constant refrain, something you will hear several times a day, if not per hour. It’s on morning television (I counted five uses in around 20 minutes on the Today Show), it’s on the convention floor, and it’s in the national dialogue. If you used “fiscal cliff” as a drinking game (morning rules: coffee only) you’d be wired and climbing the walls inside of an hour.
So I found it to be something of a surprise when NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun took the stage to lead the Economic Issues & Commercial Real Estate Business Trends Forum, because while he did glancingly refer to the FC, the most eye-popping slide he presented wasn’t about a cliff, but about a chokepoint.