Salaries and wages expense was $22.8 million for third quarter 2013, as compared to $23.5 million for second quarter 2013 and $23.3 million for third quarter 2012. Salaries expense, the largest component of salaries and wages expense, remained stable at $21.0 million during third quarter 2013, second quarter 2013 and third quarter 2012.
During third quarter 2013, the Company recorded net OREO expense of $18 thousand, as compared to net OREO income of $915 thousand during second quarter 2013 and net OREO expense of $2.6 million during third quarter 2012. Third quarter 2013 net OREO expense included $543 thousand of net operating expenses, which were offset by net gains on the sale of properties of $525 thousand. This compares to $678 thousand of net operating expenses, $259 thousand of fair value write-downs and net gains of $1.9 million during second quarter 2013, and $1.1 million of net operating expenses, $2.3 million of fair value write-downs and net gains of $775 thousand during third quarter 2012.
Other expenses decreased to $12.7 million during third quarter 2013, as compared to $15.5 million during second quarter 2013 and $14.5 million during third quarter 2012, primarily due to variations in the timing of expense recognition in the ordinary course of business. In addition, FDIC insurance premiums decreased $151 thousand during third quarter 2013, as compared to second quarter 2013, and $417 thousand as compared to third quarter 2012, primarily due to lower assessment rates reflective of improved credit quality.
BALANCE SHEETTotal loans increased to $4,332 million as of September 30, 2013, from $4,297 million as of June 30, 2013 and $4,180 million as of September 30, 2012, with the most notable growth occurring in residential real estate and consumer loans. Residential real estate loans increased to $842 million as of September 30, 2013, from $804 million as of June 30, 2013 and $639 million as of September 30, 2012, due to continued retention of certain residential loans with contractual terms of fifteen years or less and increased housing demand in the Company's market areas.
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