Industry News

Homestore, HouseValues top real estate stocks

Wall Street hammers Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, WaMu

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September was a month of extremes for the Inman News Real Estate Stocks Index. Investors smiled broadly on two online companies, Homestore and HouseValues, while they frowned severely on three mortgage stocks, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Washington Mutual. Homestore and HouseValues racked up per-share price gains of more than 15 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Financial giant Fannie Mae gave up nearly 12 percent of its valuation; Freddie Mac and Washington Mutual were also in the minus column with losses of more than 5 percentage points each. At month-end, Homestore traded at a per-share price of $4.35, just shy of its recent 52-week high of $4.64. The company announced a profitable second quarter at the end of August, and followed that with a settlement agreement this month with former CEO Stuart Wolff. The settlement agreement caps Homestore's obligation to reimburse Wolff for his attorney's fees and other legal defense costs at no more than $11 million and bars Homestore fr...