Mortgage rates have rebounded to levels not seen since July following signals from the Federal Reserve last week that it could start scaling back its purchases of mortgages and long-term Treasury bonds later this year.

The Fed’s debt purchases have helped keep long-term interest rates low. But that’s  not all that may be spooking investors who buy mortgage debt. There’s also the fast approaching U.S. debt ceiling deadline, and uncertainty over who will be leading the Federal Reserve next year.

While it’s too soon to say whether the forces that are driving up long-term interest rates will be long-lasting, housing industry leaders are keeping a close eye on the rise in mortgage rates, which could limit the buying power of would-be homebuyers, denting home sales

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