Construction loans – both residential and nonresidential – have grown steadily for the past several years, a trend that continued into the first quarter of 2017.
Total construction loans reached $319.17 billion as of March 31, a 12.0% increase from the first quarter of 2016 and a 2.0% increase from the fourth quarter of 2016. U.S. banks and thrifts held $248.47 billion in nonresidential construction loans at the end of March, a 12.2% increase year over year. Meanwhile, residential construction loans hit $70.70 billion, an 11.4% increase.
Total delinquent construction loans decreased in the first quarter to $3.26 billion, down from $3.30 billion in the fourth quarter and $3.90 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Wells Fargo & Co., the U.S.'s largest construction lender among banks and thrifts, posted $24.29 billion in construction loans at the close of the first quarter, more than twice the amount of No. 2, U.S. Bancorp. The 3rd largest lender, Bank of America Corp., seems to have stepped back from the category over the last year as its residential construction loan portfolio fell 30.4% to $1.05 billion and its nonresidential construction loan portfolio fell 1.7% to $8.13 billion as of March 31.