Fannie Mae earns $1.8 billion in third quarter

Associated Press Modified: November 7, 2012 at 4:15 pm •  Published: November 7, 2012
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Mortgage giant Fannie Mae earned $1.8 billion from July through September, helped by an improving housing market that has lifted home prices.

The government-controlled company said Wednesday that it paid a dividend of $2.9 billion to the U.S. Treasury and sought no additional federal aid.

It was Fannie's third profitable quarter since being taken over by the government during the 2008 financial crisis. The gain compares with a net loss of $5.1 billion in the same period last year.

"We are seeing signs of sustained improvement in housing," Fannie President and CEO Timothy Mayopoulos said in a statement. "Our financial condition has improved markedly."

The government rescued Fannie and smaller sibling Freddie Mac after both incurred massive losses on risky mortgages. Taxpayers have spent about $116 billion to rescue Fannie. So far, the company has repaid the government $23 billion.

The housing market is finally starting to recover more than five years after the crisis. Home sales are higher than last year, prices are rising on a consistent basis and builders are starting more homes. The market still has a long way back to full health.

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