Warren Buffett's Firm Appears to Bet on the Housing Market

The Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate bought stakes in a trio of homebuilders this year.

A DR Horton sign showing plans for a 2,100-home subdivision in Washington County, Utah, March 28, 2021.
A DR Horton sign showing plans for a 2,100-home subdivision in Washington County, Utah, March 28, 2021.
Joan Meiners/The Spectrum via AP, File

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Warren Buffett's company appears to be betting on the housing market picking up because Berkshire Hathaway bought more than $700 million worth of homebuilder DR Horton's stock this spring along with smaller stakes in fellow builders Lennar Corp. and NVR Corp.

Berkshire revealed those new investments Monday in a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that shows the conglomerate's holdings as of the end of June.

Investors always watch Berkshire's moves closely because of Buffett's remarkably successful track record over the years, but these filings don't make clear which moves Buffett made and which ones were handled by one of the Omaha, Nebraska-based company's two other investment managers.

Buffett typically handles all the biggest investments in the $350 billion portfolio worth $1 billion or more. The three homebuilder stakes together are worth around $800 million.

Berkshire holds nearly 6 million DR Horton shares, 152,572 Lennar shares and 11,112 NVR shares.

Buffett's company made a number of other tweaks to its portfolio during the second quarter including reducing the size of its General Motors and Globe Life stakes while adding to its Capital One investment.

Berkshire almost halved its GM stake from 40 million shares to 22 million. And it reduced its Globe Life investment to 2.5 million shares from the previous quarter's nearly 6.4 million.

Berkshire Hathaway now owns nearly 12.5 million Capital One shares, up from 9.9 million in March.

Buffett's company also eliminated smaller investments in Marsh & McClennan, McKesson Corp. and Vitesse Energy.

Berkshire's biggest holdings in Apple and Bank of America stock remained unchanged.

Several of Berkshire's other moves in the quarter were previously disclosed including adding even more Occidental Petroleum shares, reducing its Chevron stake and unloading most of the Activision Blizzard it shares Buffett bought as a bet that Microsoft's acquisition of that video game maker would go through.

In addition to its stock portfolio, Berkshire owns dozens of businesses outright including BNSF railroad, several major utilities and an assortment of insurance companies led by Geico. It also owns a number of manufacturing and retail firms such as Precision Castparts, See's Candy and Helzberg Diamonds.

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