GREENVILLE, S.C., May 6, 2017 -- GrandSouth Bancorporation had another excellent quarter of growth in total assets ending March 31, 2017. Our investment into three new markets combined with organic growth in our legacy offices produced asset growth of approximately 28.4% year over year. Total assets grew from $435.8 million as of March 31, 2016 to $559.4 million as of March 31, 2017. For the quarter, total assets grew approximately $44 million or 8.5% from December 31, 2016.
Loan demand is robust throughout our entire footprint. Many of our clients are telling us that they are having record setting performance in their companies. This enhanced economic activity necessitates new equipment purchases, expansion to plants and warehouses. Our expansion into Columbia and Orangeburg is also providing geographical diversification in our loan portfolio. The addition of Chris Bradham as our Senior Agriculture Lender opens up an entire new market of farm lending, stretching along the I-95 corridor from Dillon County to Dorchester County. This addition, combined with strong organic loan demand in the upstate, produced gross loan growth of $96 million and a 27% increase year over year. For the first quarter, our gross loan growth was 7.7%.
We have continued to restructure the deposit side of our balance sheet by executing our plan to decrease our reliance on wholesale funding, while growing our core deposit base. Our treasury management calling officer is our point person focused on corporate checking growth. Through a strategic joint calling program with our commercial lenders we have been able to grow our non-interest bearing checking 27.4% in the first quarter of 2017 and 81.5% year over year. Our money market accounts have grown to $189 million dollars at the end of the first quarter which provides a 29% deposit increase year over year. We had excellent growth in Columbia and Orangeburg. In less than 8 months these new markets generated approximately $56.9 million in new deposit growth.
Brokered deposits declined by 44% year over year. Total deposits for our bank increased by $42.8 million in the first quarter and by $101.8 million year over year. This is a 9.9% growth in the first quarter and 27.4% growth from March 31, 2016.