Total non-accrual loans decreased to $15.5 million, or 3.3% of gross loans, at March 31, 2012 compared to $20.7 million, or 4.1% of gross loans three months earlier, and $32.5 million, or 6.8% of gross loans, a year ago.
Due to the sale of two properties, other real estate owned (OREO) decreased 47.1% to $1.5 million at March 31, 2012 compared to $2.8 million three months earlier. There are now only two properties remaining in OREO. Non-performing assets, which consist of non-accrual loans and OREO, declined 27.5% to $17.0 million, or 2.5% of total assets, at March 31, 2012 compared to $23.4 million, or 3.5% of total assets, at December 31, 2011, and $33.5 million, or 4.7% of total assets, at March 31, 2011.
The reduction in total loans due to the sale of $66.4 million of residential real estate loans and the improved credit quality of the overall loan portfolio resulted in a release of $845,000 from the loan loss reserve for the first quarter of 2012, compared to the $7.0 million provision recorded in the first quarter last year, of which $6.0 million was related to the bulk loan sale of non-performing assets.
The allowance for loan losses totaled $8.5 million, or 1.78% of gross loans, at March 31, 2012 compared to $9.4 million, or 1.84%, of gross loans, at December 31, 2011, and $12.2 million, or 2.55%, of gross loans a year ago.Balance Sheet Review “During the first quarter we sold $65.8 million in residential loans resulting in a decrease in net loans compared to the preceding quarter end,” added Mr. Maher. “However, our continued focus on growing the loan portfolio is evident by our loan pipeline, which was $105 million at March 31, 2012.” Loans outstanding were $474.7 million at March 31, 2012, compared to $510.6 million at December 31, 2011 as a result of the previously mentioned loan sale, and $479.1 million a year ago.