12 Markets with the Highest Mortgage Demand

Nearly 1.6 million of loans were originated on single-family homes and condos in the first quarter, up 17 percent from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac's the first quarter 2015 U.S. Residential Loan Origination Report. Of those nearly 1.6 million loan originations, almost 472,000 were purchase loan originations, up less than 1 percent from a year ago. The rest of the loans were from refinance applications.

Read more: Sharp Rise in Rates Doesn’t Deter Buyers

"A dip in interest rates early in the year combined with lowered mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans breathed some life back into the refinancing market in the first quarter," says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "Meanwhile the purchase loan market remained largely missing in action despite tepid growth from a year ago. The prime buying season still remains ahead, providing some hope that first-time home buyers and other traditional buyers relying on traditional financing will come out in the woodwork in greater numbers in the coming months."

The following metro areas (with populations of at least 500,000) saw the largest increases in purchase loan originations from a year ago:

  1. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla.: up 72%
  2. Dayton, Ohio: up 62%
  3. Toledo, Ohio: up 36%
  4. Tampa, Fla.: up 32%
  5. Kansas City, Mo.: up 32%
  6. Salt Lake City: up 18%
  7. Orlando, Fla.: up 17%
  8. Atlanta: up 15%
  9. Jacksonville, Fla.: up 14%
  10. St. Louis, Mo.: up 13%
  11. Miami: up 13%
  12. Phoenix: up 13%

Source: RealtyTrac