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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(Update) I’ve seen it on the blog, so it’s no surprise to me that trouble in the housing market has some folks hot under the collar and others hosing them down. CEO’s of the major homebuilders gave me the cold shoulder at a J.P. Morgan conference last week, including Richard Dugas, CEO of Pulte Homes (see June 12 blog).
I'm happy to welcome Peter Viles to the blog today--a real estate reporter from the LA Times who blogs about all things housing. (Please check out his blog.) I asked him for some insight into the always tricky LA market, and here are his thoughts: Sticker shock: A handsome but unremarkable 5-bedroom home on a 60-foot-wide lot two miles from the beach in Santa Monica was listed in late May for $5.095 million. The aggressive pricing caused a lot of talk -- one local blogger was incredulous, asking, "Aren't you supposed to get a faux chateau for that?"
I know a lot of you real estate watchers out there don’t like the numbers, don’t believe the numbers, don’t want to hear me analyze the numbers, and if that’s the case, then please stop reading right here. For those of you left, you should know we’ll be getting a lot of new numbers at the beginning of next week: May Existing Home Sales from the National Association of Realtors, May New Home Sales from the U.S. Dept of Commerce and the S&P/Case Shiller Monthly Home Price Index. I know, fun stuff.
In researching and conducting interviews on the REIT story I’m doing today in TV land, I’m struck by the vast disconnect between how well commercial real estate is actually doing and the expectations for REIT returns this year. “We don’t see REITs getting to a new high this year- I think they’re probably going to test some new lows. And they could sit at discounts to their underlying asset values," says Citigroup REIT analyst Michael Bilerman.
Yes, it’s yet another upshot of the downturn in housing. As big builders try to get rid of a heavy load of inventories, they’re faced with the fact that their potential customers can’t sell their existing homes and therefore can’t plunk down the big down payment on a brand spanking new one. Never fear, the builders are here. Along with all kinds of incentives, like help with the mortgage, free upgrades in the kitchen and bath, a lease on a BMW...
I had a little trouble with the anchor this morning. She said the housing starts number was good news, “better than expected”, despite the fact that it was down. And then the building permits number was “disappointing.” I don’t blame her at all for the characterizations because a) she probably didn’t write them, and b) it’s really a matter of how you’re looking at the numbers and of course who you are. Take a look at the stats:
If you happened to read my blog last week, you’ll remember what a warm reception I got from the CEOs of the major public home builders at the JP Morgan Basics and Industrials conference. As they summarily rejected my polite requests for interviews at our live camera, they also made it abundantly clear that it was media hype fueling the negative sentiment among healthy home buyers across the nation.
I think I may have been too optimistic about Washington, DC. There, now you all can start yelling at me that I’m tanking the real estate market again. But I have to call it as I see it. In the last couple of weeks I’ve heard some anecdotal information from my realtor cronies around Georgetown that things are really selling well. Yes, they’re staying on the market longer than last year and yes they have to be sanely priced, but yes--they’re moving.
“I just decided that I should do something pretty creative in trying to earn as much money as possible…and I just woke up one morning and had the idea.” That's California homeowner Darren Shuster talking about how he woke up with a new vision of his home: house as billboard. I’m not kidding. We saw the painters. He’s literally selling ad space on his 3-bedroom ranch.