David Sokol Says Housing, Economy Nowhere Near Recovery

David Sokol, a top aide to billionaire investor Warren Buffett who oversees HomeServices of America Inc., the nation’s second-largest real estate brokerage owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, said today (Thursday) the housing market is nowhere near recovery and signs of stabilization are premature.

From Bloomberg: Sokol was among money managers who told an investment conference in New York the economy is still deteriorating and they don’t have a lot of confidence in….Obama’s economic policies.

“We’re not seeing the green shoots,” said Sokol,….“We don’t see improvement.”

Homes in the process of foreclosure are creating a “shadow backlog” of unsold properties that will continue to hang over the market, Sokol, 52, said in a speech yesterday at the Ira W. Sohn Investment Research Conference in New York.

While official statistics show a 10- to 12-month supply of unsold homes, “we believe the backlog of homes for sale is twice that.”

“It will be mid-2011 before we see the market in balance,” with no more than a six-month backlog, he said.

emphasis added

Sokol is considered a possible successor to Buffett as head of Berkshire.

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