Non-interest income was $2.4 million for the third quarter of 2013 compared with $3.0 million for the same period a year earlier. For the first nine months of 2013, non-interest income was $11.0 million compared with $9.0 million for the same period a year ago. Higher non-interest income during the first nine months of 2013 compared with the same period a year ago is primarily the result of $3.9 million of gains from securities sales, which were primarily generated from the sale of $89.3 million of investment securities in the first quarter of 2013. The securities were sold in the first quarter of 2013 to reduce the overall duration of the investment securities portfolio to limit interest rate risk exposure, and to provide a funding source for our strong loan demand. As a result of the first quarter repositioning of the portfolio, total duration of the investment securities portfolio declined from 3.1 years prior to the sale of investment securities to 2.4 years after the sale.
Excluding gains on sale of investment securities, non-interest income decreased 21.7% and 3.3% for the third quarter and first nine months of 2013, respectively, compared with the same respective periods a year earlier, reflecting declines in the level of gains on sale of mortgages due to lower mortgage loan activities in the third quarter, consistent with industry trends, partially offset for the year to date period by gains on the sale of the guaranteed portion of SBA loans recognized in the second quarter of 2013.
Non-Interest ExpenseNon-interest expense was $8.6 million for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared with $8.8 million for the same period a year earlier. For the first nine months of 2013, non-interest expense was $26.9 million compared with $26.7 million for the same period a year ago.