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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We're still waiting on numbers from the National Association of Realtors that will be released this afternoon. They have decided to combine their pending home sales index with their economic forecast and release it all from their mega-convention taking place in Las Vegas today. The pending home sales index is based on contracts signed in October, but not closings.
An interesting tidbit in the quarterly guidance from Toll Brothers this week: Amid all the talk of rising cancellation rates and falling orders, “The average price per unit of gross contracts signed in the fourth quarter was $646,000, compared to $667,000 in 2007’s third quarter...however, the average price of the 417 fourth-quarter cancellations in FY 2007 was a much higher $788,000 per unit.”
I didn't see the testimony of Ben Bernanke on Capitol Hill because I was on an airplane coming back from Chicago. It's probably a good thing, because I wouldn't have believed what I heard. Only now that I see it in print, in an email from the office, can I read it over and over again and force myself to accept its veracity.
I'm at the U.S. Green Building Council's Green Build Convention in Chicago today, blogging by B'berry. We'll be doing a full day of live reporting from here tomorrow, but I had to check in because I'm not often shocked, but I am today. And so were the folks running the convention.
I’ll admit right at the top here that what I’m about to do is cheesy, but honestly, I just can’t resist. A little over a year ago, mid-September 2006, there was a little blurb in the Washington Post about the then-president of the National Association of Realtors, Tom Stevens, not being able to sell his Virginia home.
I’ve been listening to the web cast of today’s UBS Building and Building Products Conference (interestingly no cameras allowed this year, despite the fact that we were invited with open arms last year). Anyway, Ara Hovnanian, CEO of Hovnanian Enterprises, whose company reported some not-too-positive quarterly earnings guidance this morning...
An interesting piece in the Washington Post today about Long and Foster, which is DC’s largest residential real estate brokerage. The founder, P. Wesley Foster Jr. apparently sent out a memo to employees, criticizing them for using outside mortgage lenders over the company’s own Prosperity Mortgage, a joint venture with Wells Fargo.
I spent the morning listening to a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee about, what else, mortgage issues (I know, I’ve really got to get out more). After riveting testimony from the Treasury’s Under Secretary for Domestic Finance (sorry, but even he looked bored), regarding the department’s new “Hope Now” alliance, I eagerly awaited the next panel.
I know a lot of you don’t like the foreclosure reports offered by RealtyTrac because of the methodology involved. RealtyTrac counts “foreclosure filings,” which include default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions, so one property could ostensibly get several hits.
Since it’s Halloween, I thought I’d lay off scaring you all with housing data today (got a great foreclosure report to make you scream tomorrow), and share a couple of fun-house housing tidbits that came across some news wires this week: