The Federal Reserve Board is seeing signs that the housing market is "cooling" even though home sales remain strong, according to the minutes of the Nov. 1 meeting of the board's Federal Open Market Committee."The housing market had remained robust, although a slowing in house price gains in some areas and recent declines in home equity lending at banks could be indicating that the long-expected cooling in the housing market was near," the minutes say. Several economists believe the Fed continues to push up interest rates to slow the housing market and the rapid increase in house prices. If the housing market does cool, the Fed might stop raising rates. The Fed released the FOMC minutes on Nov. 22, the same day that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported that home equity lines of credit grew at their slowest pace in four-and-a-half years.

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