Real estate recovery sets stage for 2014 tech, acquisition boom

Role of franchisors grows even as portals seek continued dominance

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Propelled by rising home prices and home sales, housing markets around the U.S. marched toward "normal" this year, laying the groundwork for a real estate tech and acquisition boom in 2014. The recovering housing market boosted the stock prices and market caps of publicly traded companies whose fortunes are tied to residential real estate, including Realogy, Zillow, Trulia, Move Inc. and Re/Max, increasing their capacity to acquire new technologies or companies outright. Firm Opening price per share Jan. 2, 2013 Closing price per share Dec. 30, 2013 Percent growth Market capitalization  Realogy $42.42 $49.30 19% $7.2 billion Zillow $28.27 $80.37 184% $3.18 billion Trulia $16.50 $33.56 103% $1.32 billion Move Inc. $7.65 $15.86 107% $609 million Re/Max $22.00* $31.86 45% $369 million Source: Yahoo Finance * Re/Max went public on Oct. 2, 2013. In October, franchising giant Re/Max pulled off residential real estate's fo...