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Fannie Mae earned $2.7B in Q1, doesn’t seek aid

WASHINGTON — U.S. mortgage giant Fannie Mae made money in the first three months of the year and is not seeking additional federal aid. It’s the first time the company has reported a net income gain since it was taken over by the government during the 2008 financial crisis.


Fannie on Wednesday reported that it earned net income attributable to common stockholders of $2.7 billion in the January-March quarter. That compares with a net loss of $6.5 billion in the first quarter of 2011.


The income gain was sufficient to pay a dividend of $2.8 billion to the Treasury Department in the first quarter.


The improvement was due primarily to slower home price declines, reduced inventory of single-family homes and fewer mortgages in serious delinquency, the company says. The gain also adds to evidence of slow improvement in the home market five years after the housing bubble burst.


January and February made up the best winter for sales of previously occupied homes in five years. Builders are laying plans to construct more homes in 2012 than at any other point in past 3 1/2 years. Mortgage rates have never been cheaper. And while home prices continue to fall, most cities have reported smaller annual declines than in previous months.