New home sales jumped 11% in March and the government revised upward its estimate of February and January sales by 31,000 units.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported Monday morning that sales of newly constructed homes rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000 in March from a 270,000 rate in February.

The March sales rate is 22% below the rate a year ago.

However, February sales were revised upward from a 250,000 rate and January sales were revised upward by 11,000 units.

"This report is relatively good news since it is indicating that there is some hope for new home sales after last month's dismal reading," said Chris Christopher, Jr., a senior principal economist at IHS Global.

However, "home builders are feeling the squeeze from falling house prices, increased fuel and commodity prices and lackluster demand," Christopher said.

Weiss Research analyst Mike Larson noted builders are having a hard time competing with all the foreclosed properties in the market. And he does see a "catalyst" that will really turn demand around for new home or existing home sales.

"I think we are going to see a stagnant, sideways pattern of the rest of the year.  I don’t see a catalyst to spark a real uptick," Larson said. 

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