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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I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from users out there questioning the housing numbers we report on CNBC. Yes, we do a lot of numbers: Existing Home Sales from the National Association of Realtors, Housing Starts and New Home Sales numbers from the US Dept. of Commerce, the monthly Housing Market Index of home builder sentiment from the National Association of Home Builders, just to name a few.
Last week the Secretary of the Treasury, Hank Paulson, was asked if the residential real estate market had bottomed. He refused to answer the question. But as we approach the New Year, that is arguably the biggest question in real estate. The spring season is right around the corner, traditionally the busiest for buying and selling, and many believe it will tell the true story of the state of the market.
Despite the current concern over increased foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies, it seems like Americans are doing what they always do: responding to a great deal. "The substantial decline in mortgage rates over the past six months, greater than 80 basis points in total, has led to a significant increase in refinance activity. Additionally, we are seeing...
“Existing Home Sales in 2007 Expected to Recover from Cyclical Low” That’s the headline today from the National Association of Realtors in their monthly Housing and Economic Forecast. And you might as well put an exclamation point on the end of that. You see, the NAR, the largest trade organization in the US, represents more than one million real estate agents in the U.S. and abroad; as sales slump, so too do Realtor commissions.
Well, they finally get it. The National Association of Realtors reports the largest national drop in median existing home prices ever in the month of October; prices down 3.5% across the board and even lower in certain regions of the country. And guess what? Sales bumped up for the first time since last February. What a shocker! Lower the price, and someone will buy your house.
You've got to love the realtors; no matter how bad the housing market gets, they're going to find that expert analysis that turns rough to rosy. Take today for example. The National Association of Realtors released its Pending Home Sales Index for the month of October. This index is based on contracts signed for existing homes, but not closings. The Monthly Existing Home Sales number is based on actual closings, and that's the one that really tends to move the markets. So today's number is more of a crystal ball kind of thing. The number isn't great, but the realtors claim the housing market is "stabilizing." (FYI, I relish the realtor/home builder "buzz word" for all these stat reports, and I'll be highlighting each as it comes in).