James Dennin, Kapitall: RE/MAX and Zillow (Z) are both trying take advantage of growing profits from an improving housing market. As of Monday afternoon Zillow had announced an acquisition of a small, web-based competitor in New York.

In even bigger news, RE/MAX Holdings, one of the largest real estate brokerages in the country, announced that it will be going public after 40 years as a private company. While few details are available so far regarding the potential IPO – the deal is expected to help the firm raise about $100 million – and comes at what some are calling the end of a robust housing recovery. RE/MAX follows the lead of a chief rival, Reaology Holdings (RLGY), which went public in 2012.

Real estate companies have been hit hard this summer over treasury loan rates and uncertainty about the future of the Fed. Some are saying a decline in the number of bidding wars has slowed the pace of growth among home prices. However, land purchases and development are both up. RE/MAX's current shareholders are making an audacious bet that the overall housing market will continue to grow.

Another company that is expecting further growth in this area is the Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC). Its chief executives both took their positions in a unique compensation scheme, actually taking a combined loss of $19 million when they signed on. While the climb in share price has already rewarded them handsomely – almost doubling in value to $101.50 per share - they can't cash out until 2016. The average target price is $130 per share, indicating that the company's investors believe that the company still has room to grow.

Zillow's own accountants are expecting home prices to slow their climb next year, to 4.4% from 6.7% this year. Whether nascent offerings will be able to profit much as the recovery slows is hard to say. The decisions made by these companies suggest that that sector still has room to grow, especially as inventory remains low throughout the summer season. 

Click on the interactive charts below to view analyst ratings over time. Sourced from Zacks Investment Research. 

Analyze These Ideas:  Access a  performance overview  for all stocks in the list.


Do you see investment opportunities in real estate stocks? Use the list below as a starting point for your own analysis. 

1. Zillow, Inc. ( Z): Operates an online real estate information marketplace. Market cap at $3.15B, most recent closing price at $91.22.


2. Realogy Holdings Corp. ( RLGY ): Provides real estate and relocation services in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $6.2B, most recent closing price at $42.62.


3. The Howard Hughes Corporation ( HHC ): A real estate investment and development company, engaging in managing, developing, and leasing commercial, residential, and mixed-use real estate. Market cap at $4.12B, most recent closing price at $104.38.


4. Brookfield Residential Properties Inc. ( BRP ): Operates as a land developer and homebuilder in North America. Market cap at $2.33B, most recent closing price at $20.0.



( List compiled by James Dennin, Kapitall writer. All data sourced from Finviz. )