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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In working on a story today about the ramifications of Katrina on homeowners insurance in Florida and Gulf Coast states, I came across an odd bit of insight into hurricane-prone homeowner mentality. When Nationwide announced yesterday that it would not renew 39,000 residential policies and 16,000 commercial property policies in Florida, that after dropping 35,000 since Katrina, I called over to the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America..
I like the S&P/Case-Shiller report, because it’s really the bones of the boom and the bust all wrapped up into two neat little pages. The report only looks at the top twenty metro markets, that is, the biggest cities in the U.S., where the real estate boom really took place. “The pullback in the U.S. residential real estate market is showing no signs of slowing down,” says Robert J. Shiller.
A reader writes in: It's Saturday and I'm enjoying a quiet afternoon. Suddenly there's a loud knock at the front door. I'm not expecting anyone so I'm curious to see who knocking so aggressively. I open the door and there's a woman standing there with a clipboard. She asks to speak to the owner of the house, Mr. X (not his real name). I advise the woman that he doesn't live here anymore, I am a renter and he is my landlord.
I said the word bupkiss on TV this morning. Is that kosher? I just couldn’t think of a better word, for all my years of hifalutin network journalism experience. It’s just that everyone wanted to talk about the July existing home sales numbers, how sales were essentially flat, and that was better than many folks had predicted, and yadda yadda, isn’t that nice?
I promised myself that I would not blog while on my final summer vacation, but anyone with a BlackBerry knows, there's no such thing as vacation anymore. Earlier this week I got an email from a realtor I know in a mid-sized market in the Southeast (he asked that I not identify him or his city). The market is still doing pretty well, despite the slowdown in housing nationally because it has a strong local economy that is in a growth spurt.
I'm out of the office for a few days this week (have to take the time off--or lose it) but I will be posting some of your email replies to my recent posts. Here goes then. From Daniel D. in Illinois: Everyone seems to concentrate on the defaults and foreclosures. The real threat I see are the loans that reset that don't result in defaults. The new terms will be higher than the old terms, maybe not enough to cause a default, but the increase will come right out of disposable income.
A few hours after that sad alert went up on First Magnus Financial's home page, I received a note from a mortgage broker crony of mine. He forwarded me a note from a local First Magnus contact of his.
I'll admit it; I don't get it. The National Association of Realtors reports that prices in the nation's housing markets are rebounding. They're still in the negative, down 1.5% nationwide in Q2 2007 from a year ago, but apparently fewer markets are in the negative than in the two quarters before. The NAR's economists call it "flat." Not to mention that they show sales are down 10.8% in Q2 2007 from a year ago.