Realogy Corp., a provider of real estate and relocation services, narrowed its net loss to $192 million in the first quarter as the housing market showed signs of stabilization.

The loss for the quarter ended March 31 includes $170 million of interest expense and $45 million of depreciation and amortization. It compares to a loss of $237 million in the year-ago quarter.

Realogy's net revenue was $875 million, an increase of 5% compared to $831 million in the year-ago period.

Parsippany, N.J.-based Realogy's brands and business units include Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Coldwell Banker Commercial, The Corcoran Group, ERA and Sotheby's International Realty, among others. The company is owned by affiliates of Apollo Management.

"During the fourth quarter of 2011, we spoke about seeing signs of a stabilizing market. In the first quarter of 2012, we believe we saw the beginnings of a housing recovery," said Richard Smith, Realogy's chairman, CEO and president.

"Looking ahead, assuming current economic trends remain unchanged, we believe that the housing recovery should continue to gain traction. We believe demand is increasing, and home values are starting to stabilize."

Realogy Franchise Group, which includes the real estate units, had a year-over-year 7% increase in home sale transactions across all price ranges, while NRT, the company-owned commercial brokerage unit, had an 8% year-over-year increase.

Title Resource Group experienced an 8% increase in purchase title and closing units and a 31% increase in refinance title and closing units.

Anthony Hull, Realogy's CFO and treasurer, said Realogy expects second-quarter 2012 home sales to increase at a high single-digit pace ahead of last year. It expects the average home sale price to be flat to modestly up year-over-year.

During the first quarter of 2012, Realogy completed a $918 million refinancing, and as a result, the company does not have any significant corporate debt maturities until 2016.

kcurry@housingwire.com

@communicatorKLC