By John S. McClenahen All those economic forecasts about U.S. new home sales cooling off did not hold up in March. Sales of new one-family homes last month were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.228 million, an impressive 8.9% higher than the revised February rate of 1.128 million, the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly reported on April 26. Median sales price for a new home was $201,400. The average sales price was $260,800. "The continued sales strength is keeping new home prices under upward pressure," says UBS Investment Research, New York. "In the first quarter, median new home prices rose 10.9% year-over-year, above the 5% to 8.3% range of the prior six months, and well above income growth."