Warren Buffett says ‘single-family homes are a very attractive investment right now’

Written by Alan Findlay on . Posted in Investor Insight

Appearing live on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Warren Buffett tells Becky Quick he’d buy up “a couple hundred thousand” single family homes if it were practical to do so.

If held for a long period of time and purchased at low rates, Buffett says houses are even better than stocks.

Here’s an extract of the transcript from the article –

BUFFETT: I would say the single-family homes are cheap now, too.

BECKY: You would?

BUFFETT: Yeah, single-family homes— but if I had a way of buying a couple hundred thousand single-family homes and had a way of managing— the management is enormous— is really the problem because they’re one by one. They’re not like apartment houses. So— but I would load up on them and I would— I would take mortgages out at very, very low rates.

But if anybody is thinking about buying a home— five years ago they couldn’t buy them fast enough because they thought they were going to go up, and now they don’t buy them because they think they’re going to go down. And interest are far lower. It’s a way, in effect, to short the dollar because you can— you can take a 30-year mortgage and if it turns out your interest rate’s too high, next week you refinance lower. And if it turns out it’s too low, the other guy’s stuck with it for 30 years. So it’s a very attractive asset class now.

BECKY: If you are a young individual investor at home and you have your choice between buying your first home or investing in stocks, where would you tell someone is the better

BUFFETT: Well, if I thought I was going to live— if I knew where I was going to want to live the next five or 10 years I would— I would buy a home and I’d finance it with a 30-year mortgage, and it’s a terrific deal. And if I— literally, if I was an investor that was a handy type, which I’m not, and I could buy a couple of them at distressed prices and find renters, I think that’s— and again take a 30-year mortgage, it’s a leveraged
way of owning a very cheap asset now and I think that’s probably as an attractive an investment as you can make now.

In short, Buffet argues

1. Single Family Houses (as opposed to apartment blocks) are cheap as an asset class
2. If you can get gearing at a reasonable rate, take it.

Click here to see the list of single family homes for sale in Western New York.

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