Real Estate Realty Check


  • Last weekend a house in my DC neighborhood went on the market. It was the first new listing in its price range to hit the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) in about two months. There were only three others, and those had been sitting since the fall. The house was "open" Saturday and Sunday, and by Monday it was "under contract."

  • In a sea of homebuilder earnings this week, we at the Realty Check have been running a tally of the dollar amount of losses from land write-downs and cancelled land-option contracts: It’s hovering around $2 billion. Now, are there some fabulous deals out there to be had?

  • Recreational Vehicles

    I want to talk about second homes, second homes with wheels. The RV industry would have you believe that a motor home or “fifth wheel” trailer is superior to your basic beach house, by virtue of the fact that it can go anywhere. It’s an enticing branding strategy, I’ll give you that, but does it make real economic sense?

  • Equity Office.jpg

    In reporting about the potential 38 billion dollar bid for Equity Office Properties Trust by Cerberus Capital Management and others, I was struck by a tiny dash of concern, well below the radar, in the office sector as a whole. I was doing some background reading on the office sector’s 2006 performance, and in a Colliers International press release I came across, the real estate services provider noted...

  • Maybe I’m jaded, maybe I’ve toured a few too many overpriced homes, but I have to say, $20 million ain’t what it used to be on the south shore of Long Island. Some background: I spent much of my day yesterday in East Hampton, New York. I was working on a story about what the Wall Street bonus boys will be spending their money on this month. Real Estate is the obvious bet, so we decided to take a look at the 2nd home market on Long Island.

  • franconia_ridge.jpg

    I want to talk about my holiday vacation week if I may, since I spent much of it considering and talking about the real estate market (so much for getting away from it all). As I sat in my mother-in-law’s condo in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, staring at the not-so-white White Mountain range and glowering at the pile of snowsuits, boots, ski equipment, goggles, and gloves sitting dry in the corner, thoughts and conversation turned to housing.

  • 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.

  • NAHB

    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.

  • When I first saw Paulo Zampolli, he was positively leaping out of a shiny black Rolls that matched his equally shiny black hair.  My producer Jill and I had come to Manhattan to interview Paulo about his new real estate agency, located in SoHo.

  • reader_response_small.jpg
  • 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.

  • You don’t have to be Donald Trump to know that the New York City hotel market is a good investment, but it wasn’t until a visit to a stunning, new-ish property this week that I really and truly got the message.

  • When I first saw Paulo Zampolli, he was positively leaping out of a shiny black Rolls that matched his equally shiny black hair.  My producer Jill and I had come to Manhattan to interview Paulo about his new real estate agency, located in SoHo.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • For most of us, our home is the largest and most personal investment we will ever make, and that’s precisely why navigating the great wide world of real estate is as thrilling as it is daunting.


  • Diana Olick

    Diana Olick serves as CNBC's real estate correspondent as well as the editor of the Realty Check section on

Home prices and supply map

  • Track the latest moves in sales, prices and inventory in some of the largest housing markets across the country.