Business

Fannie Mae earns $1.8 billion in third quarter

WASHINGTON — Mortgage giant Fannie Mae earned $1.8 billion from July through September, helped by an improving housing market that has lifted home prices.

The government-controlled company said Wednesday that it paid a dividend of $2.9 billion to the US Treasury and sought no additional federal aid.

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It was Fannie’s third profitable quarter since being taken over by the government during the 2008 financial crisis. The gain compares with a loss of $5.1 billion in the same period last year.

‘‘We are seeing signs of sustained improvement in housing,’’ Fannie president and chief executive Timothy Mayopoulos said in a statement. ‘‘Our financial condition has improved markedly.’’

The government rescued Fannie and smaller sibling Freddie Mac after both incurred massive losses on risky mortgages. Taxpayers have spent about $116 billion to rescue Fannie. So far, the company has repaid the government $23 billion.

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