Industry News

Housing market didn’t derail real estate stocks in ’06

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Investors who were loyal to real estate brokerage, technology and mortgage-related stocks in 2006 both won and lost on Wall Street. Interactive Corp., Countrywide Financial and Fannie Mae trounced the market indices and contributed to a positive return for the hypothetical Inman Index of 10 stocks while HouseValues and ZipRealty ended the year in negative territory. Freddie Mac, Move Inc. and Washington Mutual were gainers, but lagged behind the indices, as did the Inman Index as a whole. (Realogy replaced Cendant Corp. in the Inman Index in August; neither company is included in the annual computations.) Interactive Corp. started the year at $28.29, touched lows near $23 last summer, rode upward to a $38.46 peak in mid-December and closed the year at $37.16. Investors who stayed the course captured a 31 percent gain. Countrywide opened Jan. 3, 2006, at $34.35, fell to a low of $32.10 in early February, peaked near $43 in mid-May, dropped again to $32.24 in late August and then close...