Re/Max debut pops with shares up 19 percent

Investors remain optimistic about housing recovery

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After setting the price of its shares at an initial public offering of $22 yesterday, Re/Max Holdings Inc. saw its share price jump 19 percent to open trading today on the New York Stock Exchange at $26.25. The bullish opening -- on a day that also saw shares in Zillow and Trulia posting gains -- shows Wall Street remains optimistic on the housing recovery. "We looked at it for a number of years but the timing just wasn't right for it and now the timing's perfect," Re/Max CEO Margaret Kelly told CNBC. Kelly, who has been CEO since 2005, said that the combination of the housing recovery and the strengthening economy made now the right time to take the 40-year-old company public. When asked about how to think about Re/Max going forward, Kelly said, "We are a franchisor who happens to be in the real estate business." Out of the 6,300 offices affiliated with the firm worldwide, only 20 are company-owned, she said. "We're beginning to pay dividends and we would like to grow thos...