Dow Jones

WASHINGTON - The National Association of Home Builders' index for sales of new, single-family homes was unchanged in May, remaining at its revised April level of 57. The April reading was originally reported as 56.

Within the NAHB's Housing Market Index, the component for present sales of single-family homes fell to 61 in May from a revised 63 in April. Expectations for sales in the next six months increased during May, rising three points to 66, the NAHB said. The traffic of prospective buyers rose to 43 from a revised 42 in April.

NAHB President Bruce Smith attributed the optimism in the real-estate outlook to stronger consumer confidence, which he said has been boosted by Federal Reserve easing and the prospect of tax cuts later this year.

"Although builders' readings of current single-family home sales were off a bit this month, the index does indicate some revival of expectations for sales in the next six months," Smith said.

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