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Realogy posts second straight quarterly profit

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Realogy Holdings Corp., the Madison-based real estate brokerage operator, remained profitable in the third quarter as home sales continued at a healthy pace, the company announced today.

In its latest financial report, the global franchisor said it earned $109 million for the third quarter after recording a $34 million loss in the same quarter last year. The positive earnings news also follows a second quarter in which Realogy, owner of brands such as Century 21, surprised observers by posting a profit.

All told, revenue rose to $1.55 billion for the third quarter, up $272 million year-over-year, the company said in a news release.

In a prepared statement, Realogy chief executive Richard A. Smith said year-over-year transaction volume for home sales increased 29 percent for the quarter. He attributed the surge to "pent-up demand, relatively low inventory and a shift in homebuyer preference to purchase existing homes over new homes," thanks to the ability to lock in mortgage rates for a shorter term.

Company officials said they expected growth to continue in the fourth quarter, albeit at a slower pace than a surge that was seen late last year.

Realogy was taken public last year by parent company Domus Holdings Corp. The company considered leaving New Jersey about three years ago, but opted to remain and relocate from Parsippany the help of a $12 million incentive package from the state.

In total, the company has about 1,300 employees New Jersey and owns and franchises real estate brands that also include Coldwell Banker, Sotheby's International, ERA, and Better Homes and Gardens. It also has business units specializing in corporate relocation and title and settlement services.


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