Warren Buffet: What He Would Buy
Warren Buffett: “I’d buy up a couple hundred thousand” homes
When Warren Buffett talks, people listen. Lately he has been talking about real estate and why now is the right time to be investing in housing. In fact, Buffett went so far in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” as to say that he’d “buy up a couple hundred thousand” single-family homes if it was practical for him to do so.
Buffett said he believes purchasing a home with today’s historically low mortgage interest rates and holding it for the long-term has actually become a better investment than stocks right now. This, from someone who has always put stocks above all other investments. In his annual letter to shareowners, Buffett wrote, “Housing will come back, you can be sure of that.”
In explaining his investment picks, Buffett said he would shy away from gold and treasuries, the latter of which he said will not keep up with inflation, particularly after taxes. Instead he said he prefers to put his money into investments that he considered to be “productive assets.” Within this category are stocks and real estate.
According to the Buffett, real estate and stocks not only boast the greatest upside potential, but also are safer investments in the long run than treasuries and gold.
In a recent interview, Buffett forecasted an increase in household formations as the economy continues to recover. He believes that more people who moved in with their parents or in-laws during the recession will soon look to move out and get their own home soon.
According to the International Business Times, the annual pace of housing starts in the U.S. last year was just 609,000 – far less than the household formation of 1.14 million. Eventually, this imbalance will absorb the oversupply in the housing market, Buffett said, although how long this process takes could vary widely among various local U.S. housing markets. “Demographics and our market system will restore the needed balance – probably before long,” he said. No one knows for sure what the future holds, but I agree wholeheartedly that if you’re looking to invest in a home for the long term you couldn’t find a better time.
SF Peninsula — Sales activity is on the rise and there is a definite positive attitude in the buyer’s market. Five to seven offers on Burlingame, San Mateo, Belmont and San Carlos properties are becoming the norm. Buyers are waiving contingencies and appraisals after going through four or five tries to buy a property and losing out. There are also a many cash buyers, which adds to the frustration of those trying to buy with conventional financing. The luxury end of the market is also picking up. We are seeing the early Facebook/tech company etc. buyers coming to Hillsborough and in many cases making cash purchases. Coast side realty agents are enjoying the overflow from the Peninsula with all their multiple offers. This overheated market continues to be short on inventory and long on buyers. All the buyers who have been ‘sitting on the fence’ for the past 18 months have now all jumped off at the same time. Realtor compare it to stock market anticipation. In Palo Alto, extraordinarily low inventory is resulting in numerous multiple offers. It’s a very frustrating market for buyers and agents alike. Woodside and Portola Valley are not experiencing the frenzied activity that we are seeing in Palo Alto and Menlo Park. Price points are higher and sales are slower. The higher the price, the more cautious the buyer. Many younger buyers want more urban, close to town and transportation locales. In Redwood City, the few open houses in the area had had an amazing amount of people through. San Carlos properties are selling very quickly usually with multiple offers. Redwood City seems to take a little longer but if priced correctly in a good location homes are also getting multiple offers but usually not as many. Belmont inventory is also low but again if priced right in a good location they are also selling. The main drive seems to be affordable money and lack of inventory. San Mateo inventory levels are dropping lower and lower. Buyers are out there as multiple offers indicate. The high-end market is also improving.
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I’m Nino Gaetano, a 3rd generation Bay Area native/resident, realtor and grandson to one of Portola Valley/Menlo Park’s pioneering families(Skrabo-Croatia). I attended St. Raymond’s School, Menlo-Atherton High School and then Washington State University – majoring in Cultural Anthropology and Sociology. I have 14 years of… Continue Reading “Welcome”