A reconciliation of the Company’s allowance for loan losses for the six month periods ended June 30, 2013 and June 30, 2012 is summarized as follows:
|(Dollars in thousands)||2013||2012|
|Balance at January 1,||$21,608||$23,888|
|Commercial real estate||(909||)||(4,184||)|
|Balance at June 30,||$20,359||$20,519|
Non-Interest Income and ExpenseNon-interest income was $3.9 million for the first six months of 2013, a decrease of $0.6 million, or 14.2%, from $4.5 million for the first six months of 2012. Gain on sale of branch office decreased $0.6 million as a result of the sale of the Toledo, Iowa branch in the first quarter of 2012. Gains on sales of loans decreased $0.1 million between the periods primarily because of a decrease in the sales of commercial government guaranteed loans during the first six months of 2013 when compared to the same period in 2012.
Non-interest expense was $11.4 million for the first six months of 2013, a decrease of $1.2 million, or 9.8%, from $12.6 million for the same period of 2012. Compensation and benefits decreased $0.5 million primarily because of a decrease in employees between the periods due to certain branch closures and our continued focus on reducing expenses. The gains on real estate owned increased $0.4 million primarily because of an increase in the gains recognized on the properties sold. Other non-interest expense decreased $0.2 million primarily because of decreased real estate taxes and other expenses related to other real estate owned. Deposit insurance costs decreased $0.1 million primarily because of a decrease in assets between the periods.