WASHINGTON -- Positive financing conditions and a slight improvement in consumer sentiment helped keep the housing market steady in May as the National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index remained unchanged from the previous month at 57. The HMI has consistently been within two points of the latest reading for the last five months.

"Although builders' readings of current single-family home sales were off a bit this month, the HMI does indicate some revival of expectations for sales in the next six months," said Bruce Smith, NAHB president. "This is likely due to continuing good financing conditions for home mortgages and the slight improvement in consumer sentiment that was reported for early May."

Smith attributed the improved sentiment in part to aggressive monetary easing by the Federal Reserve and prospects for tax cuts later in the year.