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Growth helps ZipRealty trim losses

Brokerage adds 551 agents, boosts sales

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ZipRealty Inc. managed to trim third-quarter losses to $1.7 million as the company added 551 agents and took advantage of continued turnover of foreclosed properties to achieve double-digit growth in sales and revenue from a year ago. The Emeryville, Calif.-based brokerage said it employed 2,814 agents at the end of September -- up 24 percent from a year ago -- and that transactions were up 31 percent from a year ago, to 5,019. Although the net revenue per transaction fell nearly 14 percent from a year ago, to $6,310, revenues for the quarter were up nearly 12 percent, to $31.4 million, on $1.36 billion in sales. Pat Lashinsky, company president and chief executive officer, blamed the decline in average transaction revenue to reduced access to credit, especially jumbo mortgages, and a "sharp increase" in nontraditional transactions. "That said, volume trends are very encouraging as they signal the continued turnover of foreclosed properties, something tha...