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.

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 that is critical for a market turn," Lashinsky said in a statement accompanying the release of the company’s third-quarter results.

The $1.7 million loss for the quarter was a marked improvement from a $4.8 million net loss recorded a year ago.

ZipRealty had no long-term debt and approximately $51.9 million of cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments on hand, compared with $80.5 million a year ago.

The company said that while it had planned on expanding in as many as four markets this year, growth will be limited to the two new markets opened this year — Long Island, N.Y., and Hartford, Conn. ZipRealty now operates in 35 major markets in 20 states and Washington, D.C.

ZipRealty now expects to see a $12.1 million net loss for the year, based on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). That estimate takes into account a $3.2 million lawsuit settlement in October that will produce a $1.9 million gain after legal fees are paid, the company said.

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