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The RE/MAX initial public offering, which was priced at $22 per share Wednesday morning, surged more than 20 percent within an hour of trading. More than 6.5 million shares traded hands as the stock rose sharply, signaling continuing investor optimism in the recovery of the U.S. housing market. RE/MAX agreed to sell 10,000,000 shares for the public offering.

The RE/MAX public offering follows other successful IPOs in the sector, including Realogy, Trulia and Zillow, as the U.S. housing market continues to rebound.

According to RISMedia CEO John Featherston, longtime industry observer and analyst, “The RE/MAX public offering to investors provides a different financial model and involvement into the housing sector than the other IPO entrants this year.”

RE/MAX has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,500,000 shares of Class A common stock to cover overallotments, if any. Shares of the company’s Class A common stock began trading this morning on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “RMAX.”

The net proceeds of the offering are estimated to be approximately $194.2 million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses. The company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to reacquire regional RE/MAX franchise rights in select markets, redeem preferred membership interests and to repurchase ownership stakes from existing shareholders.

“The anticipation is that the two regions to be acquired will be the mid-Atlantic and Southwest regions, providing the organization with ownership and control of two key resurging markets,” said Featherston.

Morgan Stanley, BofA Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering. William Blair, RBC Capital Markets and JMP Securities are acting as co-managers for the offering. Perella Weinberg Partners is acting as advisor to RE/MAX.

RE/MAX is one of the world’s leading franchisors of real estate brokerage services, with over 90,000 agents operating in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit www.remax.com.

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