Barry Diller’s multimedia juggernaut InterActiveCorp reported a surge in the volume of loan and real estate transactions closed, from $6.7 billion in the first quarter of the year to $8.5 billion in the second quarter. And the number of closed transactions rose from 64,900 in the first quarter to 73,000 in the second quarter of the year, the company reported in its second-quarter earnings statement.

But the volume of loan and real estate transactions closed by InterActiveCorp companies dropped 16 percent from the second quarter of 2003 to the second quarter of this year, falling from $10.2 billion to $8.5 billion, and the number of transmitted loan and real estate requests fell 19 percent in that time, from 733,600 to 597,600, the company also reported.

InterActiveCorp’s holdings include home-shopping, ticket, travel, lodging, dating, and mortgage and real estate-related businesses, and the company reported overall revenue growth from $1.47 billion in the first quarter of this year to $1.5 billion in the second quarter. Total revenue was down, though, from the $1.53 billion reported in the second quarter of 2003.

Revenue for InterActiveCorp’s financial services and real estate group reached $44.6 million in the second quarter of this year, up from $39.7 million in the first quarter of this year.

In the mortgage and real estate arena, InterActiveCorp owns LendingTree, ServiceMagic,, GetSmart, and Domania. The company acquired ServiceMagic, a company that links consumers with prescreened contractors, real estate agents and lenders online, in July. In the second quarter of this year, ServiceMagic’s consumer service requests were up 84 percent over the prior year, the report states.

Diller said that the company’s acquisitions during the last quarter have “been very disciplined” and have either enhanced existing businesses or expanded operations into closely aligned areas of business. “We’re not diving into some acquisitions that were . . . speculative,” he said.

“Our entrance in real estate just began,” he also said.

Revenue at LendingTree was flat in the second quarter of this year compared with the prior year, according to the financial report, “due primarily to a 44 percent decrease in revenue from refinance mortgages, offset by revenue growth from purchase mortgages, closed real estate transactions, and home equity loans of 83 percent, 55 percent and 16 percent, respectively. As expected, a rising interest rate environment has caused a shift towards lending products other than refinance mortgages.”

In the mortgage industry, refinancing originations decreased about 45 percent over the prior year while purchase-mortgage originations increased about 22 percent. LendingTree gained share in the purchase-mortgage segment, with closed purchase-mortgages growing 61 percent, the company reported.

LendingTree’s transmit rate, which is the percentage of completed loan and real estate qualification forms that were successfully transmitted to at least one lender or real estate broker, rose to a record-high 78.2 percent the second quarter of this year, up from 77 percent in the first quarter and 65.4 percent in the second quarter of 2003. The report attributed this rise to an environment of increasing competition: “The challenging environment continued to cause lenders to compete more aggressively for LendingTree’s consumer demand.”

The number of LendingTree lending partners declined from 233 in the first quarter of 2004 to 229 in the second quarter, while the number of partner realty agencies rose from 742 in the first quarter to 751 in the second quarter.

Also during the second quarter of this year, LendingTree’s Web site expanded its home listings to more than 500,000 homes, up from 400,000 last quarter, InterActiveCorp reported.


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