Business, Housing Loans Prospering in Georgia

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Data from 114 credit unions statewide shows overall lending increased 2.5 percent in the third quarter of 2016 compared to the second quarter, a slight decrease from the 3.0 percent third-quarter increase in 2015. But, overall lending for Georgia credit unions still increased 10.8 percent since last September.

Part of the increase was from people investing in current or new homes, a seasonal trend not uncommon during warmer months. First mortgages grew 3.6 percent since the second quarter of 2016, up from a 2.8 percent quarterly growth this time last year. Second mortgages and home equity lines of credit also increased by 2.9 percent for the quarter, up from a 1.1 percent quarterly increase in the third quarter of 2015.

In addition to the increase in home loans in the third quarter, member business loans at Georgia credit unions increased 4.0 percent over the previous quarter, and 9.3 since the third quarter of 2015. An increase from the 2.6 percent quarterly growth experienced in the third quarter of 2015 and closing in on the 10.8 percent increase in business lending overall this time last year.

Also noteworthy, overall savings balances at Georgia credit unions increased in the third quarter, growing 2.0 percent. An increase from this time last year when overall savings balances remained flat in the third quarter.

Personal checking accounts at Georgia credit unions grew by 6.1 percent since the second quarter, while money markets and regular savings accounts grew by 1.8 percent and 1.5 percent respectively, during the same period.

"A natural response to an improving economy is that people become more confident with investing and borrowing," said Mike Mercer, president and CEO of Georgia Credit Union Affiliates. "It's nice to know that when they want advice about how to manage money wisely, people have a solid ally in their local credit union."

Georgia consumers continue to entrust their financial needs to credit unions. Total memberships in the state's credit unions grew by 1.3 percent in the third quarter and 1.9 percent in the twelve months ended September 2016. Current Georgia memberships top the 2.1 million mark.