The new full-service West Hartford "Banking Center" will offer traditional banking services along with onsite specialized mortgage professionals, financial advisors, commercial bankers, and private banking professionals to meet all of our customer needs in one central convenient location. Mary Chase has been named Vice President, Branch Officer of the new location and is a long-time West Hartford resident with banking experience spanning three decades in Connecticut, mostly serving customers from West Hartford and its surrounding communities. Mary is joined by Josh Gorman recently named Senior Vice President for the newly established Western C&I Commercial Team. Josh has built a strong reputation among other client managers for his expertise in commercial lending and achieving a long list of successes in managing large business client relationships. Together they will lead the West Hartford team comprised of 14 banking professionals who joined Rockville in the fourth quarter 2012.
The Company continued to make enhancements to the mortgage banking business model in the fourth quarter. While on-balance sheet growth in residential loans was modest at $2 million, or 0.4%, in 2012, this is reflective of the Company's strategy to sell fixed rate residential loans to the secondary market in the historically low interest rate environment experienced during the past year. Residential mortgage originations totaled $294 million for the year, a 141% increase from $122 million in the prior year. During the fourth quarter 2012 the Company originated 443 loans totaling $87 million, an increase of 105% and 113%, respectively, from 216 loans totaling $41 million in the fourth quarter 2011. Mortgage originations increased 5% on a linked quarter basis. Additionally, the transition to mortgage loan officers in the business model allows the Company to foster relationships with local realtors to target purchase mortgage production and has increased the volume of purchase mortgages to $27 million in the fourth quarter 2012 as compared to $6 million in the prior year period, a 328% increase in that production source. For the year purchase mortgages totaled $95 million as compared to $33 million in 2011.