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.
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As I stood outside the Labor Department this morning, fighting to speak through the freezing temps, and cursing the reporter who usually covers that beat but who is busy freezing himself in New Hampshire today, I couldn’t help but think that the numbers played out before me had to be wrong. I know, I know, how can a government report be wrong?? .
The new quarterly housing market numbers are out today, and Manhattan defies the rest of the country with soaring prices and shrinking days on the market. Is it just a supply issue? Partly. Is it a wealth-effect issue? Sure, that too. What about foreigners and the power of their money against the dollar? You betcha. Will it last forever? Nope.
Despite the fact the home prices/values are falling pretty much nationwide, your tax assessment may in fact be going up. The Washington Post today reports that property values in Maryland have increased by an average of 33 percent over the past three years.
I've never claimed to be an economist (just play one on TV), but I have held a few yard sales in my time, so this I know: If something isn't selling, lower the price. So how can new home sales be reportedly dropping 9 percent while the price of a new home rose month-to-month from $229,500 to $239,100?!
So I was clicking through all the sale spams in my inbox this morning -- from all the major retailers -- offering me 25 to 60 percent off on cashmere items, plasma TVs, sateen sheets and unwanted DVDs. Suddenly it occurred to me that one group of retailers was conspicuously absent: America’s big home builders.
As we spend the end of the year debating the merits of the various plans to save the subprime borrower, I need to add a dose of reality to the Realty Check: On December 6th, when President Bush announced the brand new Paulson Plan to freeze certain subprime mortgages at their “teaser” rates, a little factoid got lost in the shuffle, and the trouble with this factoid is that it’s not exactly a fact.