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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For several weeks now the survey of loan applications from the Mortgage Bankers Association has been telling the true story of today’s housing market. Lower mortgage interest rates are not in fact pushing people to buy homes; instead, they’re spurring current owners to refinance.
Buried in the Commerce Department report on New Home Sales in December is the full year tally for 2007, and it ain’t pretty. Home builders sold 774,000 homes during the year, down 26.4 percent from 2006. Just imagine selling over a million homes one year and barely 75 percent of that the next!
There’s a lot of talk today about the new plan to temporarily raise the conforming loan limit from $417,000 to 125 percent of a local market’s median home price to a limit of $730,000. One of the biggest arguments is that by raising the limit, you are shifting away from the original mission of the GSE’s which was to bring affordable housing to low-to middle-income families.
This morning, in response to a question from one of our anchors, I said that the bulk of foreclosed homes are not included in the existing home sales report from the National Association of Realtors because they don’t land on the MLS.
I want to address an issue I mentioned yesterday which generated a lot of reader mail. I wrote: “You can’t do a stated income loan anymore, and you can’t do 100 percent financing.” I was actually quoting a mortgage expert I had spoken with earlier who was trying to make the point that despite the Fed rate cut, lending standards today are far tighter than they were just six months ago.
On days like this I think it’s important to go back to the ol’ mortgage primer and figure out exactly what all this news means to you, to your mortgage, to your home equity line and to your home’s financial future. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the 30-year fixed is not tied to short-term treasuries.
We’re talking today about what will get buyers back into the market, especially when all the so-called experts we put on the air say that prices are going to continue to fall through the rest of 2008 in the bulk of the nation’s housing markets.
I’m very glad that the chairman of the Federal Reserve thinks the economy needs a stimulus package. Yep, the idea of a potential tax rebate check is a great thing for those of us who are having trouble meeting that monthly gas bill or paying for the sundries at the Stop and Shop