Diana Olick is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, currently serving as CNBC's real estate correspondent as well as the author of the Realty Check section on CNBC.com. She also contributes her real estate expertise to NBC's "Today" and "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams."
Prior to joining CNBC in 2002, Olick spent seven years as a correspondent for CBS News.
Olick began her career as a local news reporter at WABI-TV in Bangor, Maine; WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Mich.; and KIRO-TV in Seattle. She joined CBS in 1994 as a New York-based correspondent for the "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather" and "The Early Show." She also contributed pieces to "48 Hours" and "Sunday Morning." During that time, she covered such stories as the World Trade Center conspiracy trial and the Boston abortion clinic shooting.
In 1995, Olick was assigned to cover the Midwest as a Dallas bureau correspondent. In the three years she was there, she covered all forms of natural disaster, including the crash of TWA Flight 800, the JonBenet Ramsey murder mystery and was the exclusive correspondent for the trial of Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols. During that time, she also took a temporary assignment in CBS' Moscow bureau, where she chronicled the brief presidential campaign of Mikhail Gorbachev.
In 1998, Olick was reassigned to the New York bureau and then immediately posted to Bahrain for the buildup to a possible second Gulf War. A year later, she went to Albania to cover the U.S. military buildup during the conflict in Kosovo.
Upon her return, Olick was reassigned to CBS' Washington bureau and the Capitol Hill beat. During Campaign 2000, Olick covered the Senate campaign of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and later joined the Bush campaign as a special correspondent for "The Early Show." That fall, she was named Supreme Court correspondent; her first case was Bush v. Gore.
Olick has a B.A. in comparative literature with a minor in soviet studies from Columbia College in New York and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.
Follow Diana Olick on Twitter @Diana_olick.
I was reading some wire copy on Countrywide this morning, and it left me scratching my head. The company reports that foreclosures and delinquencies among home loans that Countrywide services rose in July to their highest level in several years... delinquencies up a full percentage point and foreclosures up a half point. The company reports it made 14% fewer home loans in July than in June and applications fell 15% to a nine-month low.
I was struck today by a comment from Dollie Lenz of Prudential Douglas Elliman. She deals with the highest of the high-end properties; the ones that everyone has been saying are immune to any troubles in the mortgage market. These folks aren't subprimers; in fact, many of them don't even take out mortgages.
Don't worry, I'm not quarterbacking the mortgage market, but I am checking the rates, and calling around. I just ran a Bankrate.com search on a 30-year jumbo fixed rate and localized it to Richmond, VA. I came up with rates anywhere from 6.750 with Amerisave to 7.515 with Countrywide to 8.200 with Bank of America.
As rocker Neil Young said, "Rust Never Sleeps" (actually, he never sang it, but used it as the title of his 1979 album) and neither does the home mortgage "crisis." So, while I'm on vacation, I thought it would be good to post some your recent email replies to me. From James M: Having been in the business as both a broker and wholesale lender for the past 18 years in Florida, I'm afraid we have only scratched the surface about our real estate credit bubble.
Let me just preface by saying that I don't make a habit of commenting on what other colleagues at CNBC say. It's neither prudent, nor necessary. I also didn't even plan on blogging this week; I'm on vacation for crying out loud! But my BlackBerry was buzzing off the base this weekend, with housing bloggers begging me to respond to Jim Cramer's outcry on Friday about the Fed and the mortgage market. So let me just blog here respectfully.
“They’re pulling themselves out of the market to regroup,” is what one of my mortgage broker buddies told me on the phone this morning when I asked how in the heck Wells Fargo could raise rates on a 30-year jumbo fixed rate mortgage from 6 7/8% to 8% overnight. A jumbo is anything over $417,000, and given today’s home prices, that’s going to hit an awful lot of borrowers.
If I’m wrong, then I’m the first one to say it. But I have to say; I can’t believe I’m wrong about this. Given all the news, data, analysis, and sheer emotion of the current downturn in the housing market, you would think an awful lot of Americans would be worried, concerned, maybe a little, well, interested? Maybe not so much.
One rumor on the floor that Beazer might be in trouble and -- boom -- the whole sector drops like a brick. I run around calling all the analysts I know, and one by one they say it's all unfounded -- yeah, Beazer has some issues with litigation and its lending practices, and there's that SEC investigation that was announced as "formal" last week, but overall they're in no worse position than any of the other beleaguered home builders. Their stock may be, but the company isn't.