The commercial/multifamily mortgage market witnessed a strong start to the year as all four major investor groups increased their holdings.

The level of commercial/multifamily mortgage debt outstanding increased by $40.4 billion in the first quarter of 2015, a 1.5% increase over the fourth quarter of 2014, the latest report from the Mortgage Bankers Association found.

“Strong first quarter mortgage originations boosted the level of commercial and multifamily mortgage debt outstanding,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s vice president of commercial real estate research.

“Multifamily mortgages continued to grow even more quickly than the market as a whole, with banks increasing their portfolios by $8 billion and agency and GSE portfolios and MBS increasing their holdings by $10 billion,” Woodwell continued.

Total commercial/multifamily debt outstanding stood at $2.68 trillion at the end of the first quarter, while multifamily mortgage debt outstanding rose to $989 billion, an increase of $20.6 billion, or 2.1%, from the fourth quarter of 2014.

The four major investor groups are: bank and thrift; commercial mortgage backed securities, collateralized debt obligation and other asset backed securities issues; federal agency and government sponsored enterprise portfolios and mortgage backed securities; and life Insurance companies.