Industry News

Real estate stocks sink lower

Inman Index: Shares of Countrywide, IndyMac, Move glide downward

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Wall Street has soured on real estate stocks. Eight of the 10 real estate brokerage, mortgage and technology companies that comprise the hypothetical Inman Index lost ground in February, and the Index overall was down 3.7 percent, a worse performance than the Dow Jones Industrials, Nasdaq Composite and Standard and Poor's 500 indices, which dropped 2.8 percent, 2.3 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. Hardest hit were Countrywide Financial, which dropped 12.6 percent from $43.88 to $38.34, and IndyMac Bank, which fell 12 percent from $39.02 to $34.33. IndyMac has suffered the largest decline of the 10 Inman Index issues so far this year. Washington Mutual also backed off in February with a 3.4 percent drop from $44.59 to $43.08. An unexpectedly high rate of homeowner defaults on certain subprime mortgages triggered a swirl of negative news for the lending sector. All told, 27 major U.S. lenders have "croaked" since late 2006, according to The Mortgage Lender Implode-o-Meter, while...