MBS data provider Mortgage Maxx  launched this week a new index tracking residential mortgage application activity in key regions of the U.S. in real time. The new index, called the theMAX, is published the first business day of the week and measures mortgage activity for the just concluded week. It offers market participants an accurate and predictive measure of current mortgage application levels as well as future mortgage pay-offs.

The coverage includes California, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. All mortgage lenders operating in sampled areas are included in the index.

According to the Mortgage Maxx Web site, once a mortgage application occurs, duplicate applications for the same property are prevented from happening. This would limit a potential source of distortion when measuring mortgage activity in a rapidly falling interest rate environment, the site explained. Mortgage Maxx also provides a comprehensive look at actual refinance and home sale activity as outstanding mortgages are paid off.

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