June 15, 2007

HousingPANIC Exclusive: Interview with CNBC's housing market reporter Diana Olick


Major hat-tip to Diana Olick at CNBC for doing five questions with HP. It's gotta be tough to do her job folks - by reporting the truth about housing, she's now being shunned by some of the REIC top dogs, and as she calls herself in the HP interview, is the "Usama Bin Laden of real estate" to the REIC.

But in the end, what do reporters get paid to do? You got it - report the damn truth. And the truth of this housing crash doesn't allow for sugar coating and spin anymore - well, unless you're the NAR and Lawrence Yun of course.

Check out her CNBC real estate blog for more insights into the housing market, and also her role as a reporter for America's leading business news station. Good stuff, good blog.

Here's the HP interview, in its entirety. I hope you join me HP'ers in welcoming Diana to the blog, and thanking her for her hard-edged reporting.

______________________

HP: Do you feel the Real Estate Industrial Complex attacks on the media's role in popping the housing bubble are fair?

DO: Absolutely not. I can't speak for everyone, but I report numbers, facts, statistics and on-the-street evidence.

I find that the REIC is ready to blame me no matter what I say. Last year I was "a shill for the Realtors, helping to pump up the market." This year I'm the Usama Bin Laden of real estate, blowing the housing market to bits with my reports.

CEO's of the major public home builders who were jumping at the chance to get on our air 18 months ago, are now shirking us with force, and when I argue, they say I make them all look like fools. This, after I did several pieces on all their buyer incentives...which one could argue is better than a commercial.

HP: Many in the media were cheerleading the bubble on the way up (remember the infamous Time Magazine housing cover?), and quoted NAR press releases as news. Just as many in the media jumped on tanks and ra-ra'ed the Iraq war. How would you rate the media's performance during the housing bubble and crash?

DO: I do my best, but look, the overall media jumps on whatever the hype-du-jour is. They have to because that's what the bosses want.

I have read some stuff out there about housing that is just positively false. During the subprime meltdown I watched a lot of material from local reporters and even network correspondents who clearly didn't fully understand the issue.

To be fair, the mainstream media is just that, mainstream, and having been one of those for many years, I know it's very hard to jump into a complex issue, often given one day to do it, and not just follow the hype.

The mortgage market is extremely complex. I have the advantage of being a specialist at a business channel, so I have more time to learn as much as I can about the sector.

HP: Many "analysts" are predicting the housing crash will finish up this year. What do you think?

DO: I think housing is a tricky storm and a slow moving one at that. Housing will recover of course, but it will do it locally and anecdotally at first. There is still a lot more fallout from readjusting ARMs and subprime loans.

I expect things to look better in 2008, but I wouldn't look for any dramatic improvements, overall nationwide, this year.

HP: What do you think about the housing bubble blogs? Do you read them yourself? Do you think they've played a role in deflating housing expectations and the bubble?

DO: I think blogs are wonderful. I have one myself (http://realtycheck.cnbc.com/), but the fact is that blogs are opinion and just that.

Many blogs include data and can be very informative, but as with anything, check the source, consider the blogger, and be careful.

I've learned a lot from blogs, I've also found some blogs to be wildly inaccurate. I don't, however, think that blogs are mainstream enough in the real estate market yet to have a profound effect on current sales. I say yet.

HP: What's the chatter at CNBC? I assume almost everyone there owns a home - are you getting any pressure to lighten up on the real estate crash, since it's costing everyone there some money? And do you think reporters like yourself should have to disclose whether they have real estate investments when they do a real estate article, just as they do with stocks?

DO: Well thanks for the compliment, but I don't think anyone truly believes that I can move the real estate market.

No, nobody at CNBC has told me to dial up or down on anything. As I said before, I report data, I interview experts, industry professionals and corporate leaders. I chat it all up in my blog, but on TV I am a reporter, and I do my best not to skew anything any specific way.

Look, I own a house. Do you think I want the value to go down? No, but I also don't think my reporting of real national and local numbers are going to change any values out there. There are far greater forces than me moving the housing market.

I do not have any real estate investments, other than my own home, and I, like all CNBC reporters, am not allowed to own any individual stocks, so I could not invest in a public home builder even if I wanted to.

I don't think the downturn in housing is "costing" regular homeowners any money, unless they are about to sell their homes. Investor, speculator, flipper-types are a different story.

42 comments:

buzz saw said...

Olick is the only one on that whole CNBC crew that I like.

Anonymous said...

It's cool when even the MSM is using HP term "REIC"

Nice job

Anonymous said...

housing crash is a figment of the tin foil hat gang's imagination. looks like this "reporter" in a member.

NeuroAZ said...

Diana's a good looking chic...

Anonymous said...

Housingpanic is now getting mainstream

shtove said...

As they say in Friends: "I like her, she seems smart".

Her delivery is great, and she gives the impression of a reporter who digs out the facts.

Hope she doesn't suffer an Ashleigh Bancroft backlash:
http://tinyurl.com/23lagu

Anonymous said...

oh great another socialist reporter that you idiots will idolize for "speaking the truth", ie spewing anti-American hatred.

and you communist swine wonder why nobody takes you seriously

mort said...

Keith, I can't believe that you delete my comments and let that anonydrivel right through. What's the matter with you?

Anonymous said...

Hope she doesn't suffer an Ashleigh Bancroft backlash:
http://tinyurl.com/23lagu

------------

You mean Ashleigh Banfield?

Anonymous said...

Me thinks KEEFER has a crush on a certain CNBC reporter

Anonymous said...

Good to see the MSM respecting HPers

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Bob Toll has ever made a pass at her

mort is a dolt said...

I applaud Keith for not publishing your words of idiocy.

Anonymous said...

I expect things to look better in 2008,...

Is that realistic? Aren't many regions now reporting unsold inventory at very high levels? So high that at current and projected closing rates it will take more than a year to move what's now on the market? This inventory will only grow as more properties move into foreclosure. Add rising interest rates to that.

It's crazy to expect improvement next year.

Out at the peak said...

I guess she'll be surprised when things get worse in 2008. How are we hitting bottom in 2007? True affordability has been lost since 2000.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the blog Diana but welcome to reality this will not get better in 2008

Try 2018

Anonymous said...

Let's be fair here guys. CNBC lost MAJOR credibility being cheerleaders for the 90's stock market run. For them to retain their viewership, well, some semblance of the truth needs to be aired.

Personally I happen to think they were bullish on housing for altogether too long (most who bought in '05 are doing the "doggie paddle") but they seemed determined to get it right this THIS time!

Btw, she does run a good blog and is most definitely HOT! Can someone check on the first known useage of "REIC"? I'm no expert but I believe the first time "I" heard it used was *HARM over at Patrick.net. Credit aside, it works!

DinOR

Anonymous said...

What is this housing crash everyone is talking about? Here are the sales for my Las Vegas subdivision so far this year. Price per sq ft is higher now than at the begining of the year. All sales data available on the county's recorder website.

So please HP (and CNBC blogger chick) tell me how this is evidence of a housing crash if you would be so kind. I'm curious to know how 5 sales in 6 months in a subdivison of 121 is a housing crash. I'm curious to know how an increasing $/sq ft is a housing crash.

6/14/07
4017 Genoa Drive
2315 sq ft (no pool)
Sales price $416.5K = $180/sqft
Previous sale 11/03 for $299K

4/25/07
3904 Genoa Drive
2301 sq ft (pool)
Sales price $421K = $183/sqft
Previous sale 09/03 for $299K

5/29/07
10648 La Speiza Way
2107 sq ft
Sales price: $360K = $170/sqft
Previous sale: 03/01 for $200K

02/01/07
10623 Piombino
2124 sq ft
Sales price: $379K = $178/sq ft
Previous sale 09/03 for $258K

1/19/07
10615 Magazzini Ct
2124 sq ft
Sales price: $380K = $179/ sq ft
Previous sale: $197K in 2001

Anonymous said...

To answer your Las Vegas question, all housing is local.

Just like ramen noodle prices in Miami are very different than ramen noodles prices in San Diego.

flippers are stupid said...

The stock market is up again and homedebtors have no money to invest because it's all tied up in their crumbling $500K mortgage note in Compton. Too bad so sad their speculation sent them to the poorhouse. The stock market always outperforms real estate over any 10 year period. Have fun with your cholos and homeys next door.

Anonymous said...

I get a woody just from Diana's objective to tell the truth!

Anonymous said...

"blogs are just opinion"

So very true.

I would hope that Keith and some of the Armagedon wishers read that twice.

Keith the braniac who thought two years ago that we would see 5 million jobs vanish by today.

His crystal ball, like him, is cracked. Just like stocks, its cyclical and they continue to build like mad here in Texas because there are buyers, just not so many investors and flippers anymore.

Just like Wall st. demand catches up with supply and it all washes out. When that happens what will Keith and you lunatics who think he knows something complain about.

you all are silly belly ache'ers.

area 51 said...

CNBC Reporters cannot own individual stocks?
WHAT?
I would quit that gig posthaste...

Anonymous said...

she an idiot!!!! she says regular folks won't get hurt. So regular folks didn't refi,i/o,adj, heloc's or lie to get into a home they can't afford. For everyone who thinks 08 will be better your an idiot also. People who make 100,000 a year can't afford 500,000 homes. As rates go up these people who make good salaries will get hammered. The only thing that has allowed people to buy at these prices is i/o's and so people are doing what they did with these expensive cars, just leasing and give back at the end of the lease. Hofefully they can refi back into an i/o. You know how many peolpe are doing 30year i/o's. The down fall for these people won't be know for years. Most 30year i/o's have a reset at 10 years which amortize to 20years at that point. We became a nation of ever lasting debt with less pension and savings plan. Just a bunch of slaves buying crap. I do like crap and eating myself and very hard to be a saver like my grand parents and retire at some point with a paid off house and savings or paid off rental unit. The most people will work forever.

Nic C said...

Anonymous said...
What is this housing crash everyone is talking about? Here are the sales for my Las Vegas subdivision so far this year. Price per sq ft is higher now than at the begining of the year. All sales data available on the county's recorder website.

So please HP (and CNBC blogger chick) tell me how this is evidence of a housing crash if you would be so kind. I'm curious to know how 5 sales in 6 months in a subdivison of 121 is a housing crash. I'm curious to know how an increasing $/sq ft is a housing crash.

6/14/07
4017 Genoa Drive
2315 sq ft (no pool)
Sales price $416.5K = $180/sqft
Previous sale 11/03 for $299K

4/25/07
3904 Genoa Drive
2301 sq ft (pool)
Sales price $421K = $183/sqft
Previous sale 09/03 for $299K

5/29/07
10648 La Speiza Way
2107 sq ft
Sales price: $360K = $170/sqft
Previous sale: 03/01 for $200K

02/01/07
10623 Piombino
2124 sq ft
Sales price: $379K = $178/sq ft
Previous sale 09/03 for $258K

1/19/07
10615 Magazzini Ct
2124 sq ft
Sales price: $380K = $179/ sq ft
Previous sale: $197K in 2001

June 15, 2007 9:49 PM

_________________________________

HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa

This is the worst posting I have seen in a long, long time. You have to go back to 2001-2003 to find those comps.

Why didn't you put 2005-2006 comps on there? Not one house was sold and resold between 2005-2007?

I don't believe that for one second. Vegas is in the middle of ground zero.

If things are so great in Vegas, why are they in the top 3 of foreclosure per capita? If prices were going up, there should be very few foreclosures and homedebtors could just sell their house.

Why would anyone give up the "equity" on their house by allowing it to fall into foreclosure?

Why are all the national homebuilders pulling out of Vegas if prices are still going up? Why are they canceling condo projects right, left and center?

These people don't like to make money? They want someone else to get a piece of the action.

The reason is that prices have been falling since the end of '05 and inventory is crushing the developers.

The next leg down will be when the banks start imploding. And this month's action in the bond market will only accelerate the fun. 6 months and you will hear the first rumors of local banks blowing up.

Kick your feet back, grab some popcorn and enjoy the show!!!!

And by the way, I am not a renter or a communist. I live in a house that is worth $1.2 million give or take, so this is simultaneously entertaining me and scaring me $hitless.

UrbanMan said...

I'm an avid watcher of CNBC and I think Diana is one of the only Reporters along with Bob Pisani who tell the truth and dont add fluff or their own cheerleading to the broadcast..On another note regarding CNBC's credibility I believe another round of that is about to happen..I have had CNBC on from squak BOX in the early a.m to closing Bell for the last two years since I sold all my Rental properties ...I cant even watch Kudlow..In the last six months they never have on or rarely any stock bears..It really seems like all good propaganda directly from the wall Street establishment and or white house ..The duo of Ericka Burnett and that Mark Character (Archie Bunker) get awards for hype and squashing any negative spin. Real Estate and the consumer are heading for a fall, and CNBC reporters and analyts will go down in History..Blogs years from now will be playing their overhyped segments..Its as if they want everyone to jump off the bridge and drink the koolaid together..

Anonymous said...

need to do a post on this. There is a 1.2 billion dollar scam in So Cal and us bloggers were posting on it and laughing at them. They found us and they are all crying and claiming they got scammed like THEY are the victims. Its friggin funny.

http://piggington.com/temecula_housing_market_becoming_illiquid

corvinus said...

I just realized now that her logo says "Realty Check". I thought it had been saying "Reality Check" all this time.

Silly me.

Anonymous said...

She rocks

Anonymous said...

The next bubble to pop up its ugly rearing head will be in health insurances costs guaranteed to go higher than your means just about the time you need health care, another shakedown scam ripoff ripoff? typical

Anonymous said...

Thanks Diana, I've always admired your work. Joe

Anonymous said...

7 States With Delinquency Problems
By David Lee Smith June 15, 2007


http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2007/06/15/7-states-with-delinquency-problems.aspx

On Thursday, the Mortgage Bankers Association released its home foreclosure and mortgage delinquency statistics for the first quarter. Somewhat surprisingly, were it not for just three states -- Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana -- the rate of loans in foreclosure would have been below the nation's average rate for the past decade.

According to the MBA, "While Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan account for 8.7% of the mortgage loans in the country, those three states account for 19.9% of the nation's loans in foreclosure and 15.0% of all the foreclosures started in the country during the first quarter." But without those states, which have been hit hard by reductions in manufacturing jobs, the percentage of loans in foreclosure would have been 1.12%, versus 1.19% during the past 10 years.

As a Texan, I find it particularly sobering to note that the foreclosures and foreclosure starts are above the rates in the Lone Star State in the 1980s during the oil bust. And the difficulties in the three Midwest states extend across all loan types.

The rate of total foreclosures initiated in the quarter was heavily influenced by jumps in four states: California, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida. Without those states, foreclosure starts would have declined nationwide. The MBA blames the high foreclosure starts in those states on the prevalence of speculators, who have been more likely than owner-occupants to walk away from properties whose values have fallen.

While I'm somewhat surprised by the mortgage bankers' trends and statistics, and without taking any comfort in the difficulties of others, I believe that the breakdown demonstrates that a housing recovery is likely to be region by region. Major builders like Pulte (NYSE: PHM), Ryland (NYSE: RYL), Beazer (NYSE: BZH), KB Home (NYSE: KBH), and Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL) operate across wide swaths of the nation. Over time, they likely will be able to emerge slowly from their quicksand by intensifying their commitments of assets to stronger markets and reducing them in weaker ones.

Clearly, housing's widespread overall recovery isn't imminent, especially because the seven states mentioned above aren't trivial if we're to return to the health of the recent past. But at the same time, that very faint light out there may not actually be a train coming toward us.

Anonymous said...

she knows some things but she still doesn't get it......this is not business as usual..there will be no recovery...there will be no continuation of this thing we call the united states as we know it. she is young and all she knows is what she has been taught....she has no idea what this all really means. i cannot overemphasize it. we must prepare for the times ahead. to her credit, she is trying to be impartial about her reporting, but she does not really understand the gravity of the situation. this is not a correction and then after the correction , things will continue as before. i say again. there will be no return to where we were. the american middle class is dying now, and along with it, goes american culuture, american sovereignty and this thing we call the american dream....get used to it.......and if someone knows her, tell her the real truth so she will know it too. our only hope on this earth right now, is God's man of the hour , ron paul, a quiet, modest, truthful man who speaks the truth to anyone who wishes to hear it. a man who does not sugar coat anything but tells it like it is....if we do not listen to him, then we are finished as a nation.....we are close now, very close. i feel it today. lately this feeling has grown more intense for some reason. so many things are happening now and so fast....to save a nation, one should listen to what ron paul is saying. for your own good and for the good of this nation. or else.......

Anonymous said...

The last good thing CNBC did was chase Jack Grubman down the street with a live camera and a reporter as one of his babies, MCIWorldcom, was imploding in real time.

Conversely, Joe Kernin, can't watch Star Wars for the first time eventhough it's Star Wars week on "Morning Call". WTF? It would be easier to take his on set buffoonery if he were capable of doing his homework.

Paul E. Math said...

Like many others have said: "recovery in 2008? I don't think so." Only if prices drop by a good 50% across the board would there be a recovery by 2008. I wish that would happen but even I wouldn't predict a decline that steep.

If prices only drop by a few percent this year, even if it's as much as 10%, there is still an affordability issue. Especially if mortgage rates continue to creep up as they have recently. So why would it all be cleaned up and back to normal by 2008?

I don't think she's thought that one through. Diana is caught in short-term analysis and has either neglected to do the long-term analysis or else needs to go back and check her 'facts and statistics'.

Anonymous said...

Susan Taylor Martin is another great reporter who tells it like it is for The St. Petersburg Times. Here is her latest:

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/06/16/Northpinellas/Foreclosures_follow_d.shtml

Anonymous said...

I have an old college buddy who is a realtor in Vegas and he told me 2004 was the peak. He also tried to get me to buy an investment house out there by saying they're running out of land.

stuckinthecity said...

Awesome! way to go Keith!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Diana Olick is awesome. She's the only one on CNBC who isn't a cheerleader. Thanks Keith and Diana for a nice interview.

K.W. - Southern Ca. said...

You are so right.

Unfortunately, we needed the likes of Ron Paul several years ago.

Renters, and house debters, we're all in for some not so pleasant times ahead.

Anonymous said...
she knows some things but she still doesn't get it......this is not business as usual..there will be no recovery...there will be no continuation of this thing we call the united states as we know it. she is young and all she knows is what she has been taught....she has no idea what this all really means. i cannot overemphasize it. we must prepare for the times ahead. to her credit, she is trying to be impartial about her reporting, but she does not really understand the gravity of the situation. this is not a correction and then after the correction , things will continue as before. i say again. there will be no return to where we were. the american middle class is dying now, and along with it, goes american culuture, american sovereignty and this thing we call the american dream....get used to it.......and if someone knows her, tell her the real truth so she will know it too. our only hope on this earth right now, is God's man of the hour , ron paul, a quiet, modest, truthful man who speaks the truth to anyone who wishes to hear it. a man who does not sugar coat anything but tells it like it is....if we do not listen to him, then we are finished as a nation.....we are close now, very close. i feel it today. lately this feeling has grown more intense for some reason. so many things are happening now and so fast....to save a nation, one should listen to what ron paul is saying. for your own good and for the good of this nation. or else.......

K.W. - Southern Ca. said...

You are so correct.

Those earning 6-figure incomes - just went ahead and purchased 2-4million dollar houses.

Of couse, the thought was they would flip the home in a few years, and move into something bigger - taking on even more debt.

Anonymous said...
she an idiot!!!! she says regular folks won't get hurt. So regular folks didn't refi,i/o,adj, heloc's or lie to get into a home they can't afford. For everyone who thinks 08 will be better your an idiot also. People who make 100,000 a year can't afford 500,000 homes. As rates go up these people who make good salaries will get hammered. The only thing that has allowed people to buy at these prices is i/o's and so people are doing what they did with these expensive cars, just leasing and give back at the end of the lease. Hofefully they can refi back into an i/o. You know how many peolpe are doing 30year i/o's. The down fall for these people won't be know for years. Most 30year i/o's have a reset at 10 years which amortize to 20years at that point. We became a nation of ever lasting debt with less pension and savings plan. Just a bunch of slaves buying crap. I do like crap and eating myself and very hard to be a saver like my grand parents and retire at some point with a paid off house and savings or paid off rental unit. The most people will work forever.

Anonymous said...

The las vegas market - its in the pits. There were 22,000 listings a few months ago. I just heard there are now 28,000 listings and 44% of them are vacant! Waiting in the wings for a good deal next year!
Good update on cnbc today.