Headlines! The banking world has certainly been in the mix of the headlines for the last handful of years; locally, nationally, and internationally. From 2007 to 2011, the national economy struggled, which trickled down to every part of our local economy for large and small businesses, individuals, and families, to the banks that help manage the loans for all of these groups.
In central Iowa, many of us feel the recession has, at a minimum, stabilized and we see improvement in the local economy and better yet, a general improved attitude of Joe Public.
Are we finally “out of the woods” and is it all “downhill’ from here with rapid economic growth? Well, I certainly don’t have a crystal ball and we still have that “fiscal cliff” thing pending, so nothing is for sure, but here at VisionBank we certainly have a positive attitude towards our future.
VisionBanks’ five communities, range in size from a small agricultural town, to a mid-size community with a University environment, to a bank located on the fringes of a metro area. This gives our lenders an opportunity to work on many different types of loans and keeps our loan portfolio diversified. Recently, most of our banks’ loan funding has been in owner and non-owner occupied commercial real estate area. This includes a range of properties, from single use commercial space, to multi-family residential real estate properties.
One economic area of the commercial banking world that has been very strong the last few years has been agriculture. Grain prices, specifically corn and soybean commodities, for farmers in central Iowa, have set high market records in 2012. As of October of this year, corn prices were twenty one percent higher than a year ago and sixty one percent higher than two years ago. Soybean prices are twenty percent higher than last year and thirty-nine percent higher than two years ago. These strong prices have in turn made the demand as well as the prices for agriculture real estate land extremely strong. Iowa farmland prices have increased by twenty four percent in the last year and sixty percent since 2009.
With positive growth in the local economy, as well as in our business, it is easy for us at VisionBank to feel excited about what 2013 will bring. We look forward to continued growth in the economy and in turn look forward to helping our current customers grow and we look forward to showing new customers how we can help them to expand their business. VisionBank commercial staff has a wide range of lending expertise and have the ability, capacity, and willingness to complete many types of deals.
Come in today and visit a commercial lender and “see what we can do for you”.
Chris Brinkmeyer is Executive Vice President and head of the Commercial Loan Department at VisionBank.