Valley National Bancorp in Wayne, N.J., said its third-quarter profit rose 8.3% from the same period last year, as it made more real estate loans.

Net income was $35.4 million, or 21 cents per share, meeting the estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

The holding company for Valley National Bank reported increases in commercial and residential real estate loans, and said that its total non-covered loan portfolio grew 2.9%, to $9.3 billion, from a year earlier. The rise in real estate loans was offset by drops in car loans and construction loans.

The $14.2 billion-asset Valley said its focus on co-op and multi-family loan lending helped contribute to the 3.5% year-over-year rise in commercial real estate loans. Low interest rates and a television and radio-ad campaign fueled a 14.9% increase in residential mortgage lending, the company added.

Total nonperforming assets rose 9.3%, to $122.6 million, from the same period last year. At the end of the quarter, 1.26% of Valley's assets were nonperforming, compared to 1.18% a year ago.

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