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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 July, 2005, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Mortgage slide hits Countrywide
Person counting dollars
Low loan sales and mortgage profits took their toll on Countrywide
Profits have fallen by more than a quarter at America's largest mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial.

The group said net profits in the three months to June fell 28% to $566.5m (326.3m) from $786.5m, as profits from mortgage lending fell by half.

The news comes despite a booming property market in the US.

Low rates have helped drive a boom in prices as homeowners remortgage their homes and increase their borrowing to fund spending or home improvements.

Latest figures, from the National Association of Realtors, showed that sales of exisiting US homes set a record in June - rising 2.7% to a seasonallly adjusted 7.33 million sales, its highest figure in more than 25 years.

Meanwhile, Countrywide also blamed fewer loan sales for the slip in profits.

Earlier in July, the group said it had held onto $9bn in loans - rather than selling them to investors to make a quick profit.

Countrywide said that if it had sold the loans, it would have made an additional $150m profit during the three month period.

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