Real Estate ETFs Up as Buffett Increases Housing Broker Stake

Jacob Harper |

The most influential investor in America is taking note as the US housing market continues to rebound in 2013. On Sept. 6, a venture organized by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. ($BRK-A) signed affiliate agreements with nine brokerage houses in seven states.



The venture, Berkshire Hathaway Homeservice, has been expanding this summer into several markets on the positive nationwide housing numbers. On Aug. 15, the venture bought out Philadelphia-based Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors, the nation’s fifth-largest standalone brokerage. At the same time, the venture also acquired Prudential’s mortgage, insurance and land transfer subsidiary the Trident Group. WItrh its newest round of purchases, the venture now reaches into Texas, California, Delaware, New York, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee, and had previously made forays into Missouri, Oregon and Washington.

Buffett apparently believes incoming positive housing numbers - existing home sales jumped 6.5 percent in July - will continue. With a vote of confidence from someone as respected as the "Oracle of Omaha," investors rallied around the domestic housing market.

ProShares Ultra Real Estate ($URE) jumped 4.26 percent to hit $66.34 a share. The popular iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction ($ITB) and iShares Dow Jones US Real Estate ($IYR) both gained 2 percent on the day to hit $20.93 and $62.86 a share, respectively.  

The leveraged Direxion Daily Real Estate Bull 3X Shares ($DRN) was the big winner on the day, gaining 5.54 percent to hit $36.78 a share.

(image of house courtesy of Flickr)

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