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.
In their never-ending quest to put a positive spin on the housing market (it is, after all, their bread and butter), the Realtors (National Association of Realtors) today changed the way they report their annual housing forecast.
I don’t often get to chat with the CEOs of the big public builders anymore. Most of them can’t stand me because they think I’m to blame for the downfall of the housing market (What? Is my middle name Mozilo or something???).
I’ve saying it on TV ‘til I’m blue in the face, and now I’ve got the numbers on paper. The Federal Reserve’s January Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey, finds the following: - 55 percent of domestic respondents said they had tightened their lending standards on prime mortgages; that’s up from 40 percent in the October survey.
I remember wondering a while back why Countrywide had announced massive layoffs, just after hiring a considerable number of new employees. An analyst joked, “they’re probably in the loss-mitigation department.”
I read a fascinating article in the Financial Times this morning that I want to bring to your attention. The short version is that all those mathematical models used to predict future home loan default rates, i.e. the ones that should have prevented the mortgage crisis, failed because they left out one key variable: human behavior.
I know everyone out there, builders and Realtors included, constantly cry that it’s we in the media who are forever sounding unnecessary alarms in the housing market. Well, I don’t know that I can do much better than the Chairperson of the FDIC, Sheila Bair, who is telling a Senate Banking Committee panel today that the mortgage crisis has only just begun.
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.