Buffett, Berkshire Add to Housing Recovery Bet

Warren Buffett’s firm is continuing to bet on a recovery in the U.S. housing market, with one of its subsidiaries taking the lead in managing a new residential real estate affiliate network.

HomeServices of America Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, will be the majority owner of the affiliate network, teaming with Brookfield Asset Management to offer a new franchise brand, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Bloomberg News reports. The move is the latest in a series of housing-related moves Berkshire has made, according to Bloomberg, which notes that Buffett’s firm has bought a brickmaker, won the loan portfolio of bankrupt mortgage lender Residential Capital at auction, and built up its HomeServices unit by making deals to acquire other brokerages.

“Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is a new franchise brand built upon the financial strength and leadership of Brookfield and HomeServices,” Buffett, who this summer said the housing market was beginning to recover, said in a press release on HomeServices’ web site. “I am confident that these partners will deliver value to the residential real estate industry, and I am pleased to have Berkshire Hathaway be a part of the new brand.”

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