In previous years, the company saw strength in customers refinancing home loans. Now, Paterno said, that strength seems to have shifted to loans for new home construction or purchases.
"I think people have pent up demand," he said. "They've kept their houses for a little too long, and now they're looking for new houses."
He said the company has beefed up its loan and back office staff in the state to handle the increased lending demand.
Paterno also said the bank has seen modest increases in manufacturing business recently, and believes chemical and plastics manufacturing will pick up once further development in the Marcellus shale region kicks in.
"We see that as a real positive in the state -- we're lucky we have all this gas here," he said.
"We wish there was more jobs, of course, and more other things going on, but we're bullish on what the future holds here," he said.
In addition to announcing earnings, Huntington also announced it would increase its quarterly dividend from 4 to 5 cents a share. The dividend is payable July 1 to shareholders of record as of June 17.
Also, the company announced a $227 million stock buyback plan, a 25 percent increase from their previous buyback plan.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.