Will first-time buyers drag down home prices?

In many of the hardest hit real estate markets across the country, home sales volume is starting to pick up, even as prices continue to plummet. But are they really plummeting? In many markets, home values are not falling nearly as much as the data would seem to suggest.

A National Association of Realtors March survey found that first-time home buyers accounted for 53% of all transactions. But NAR also reported that "the national median existing-home price for all housing types was $175,200, down 12.4 percent from March 2008."

Today, NAR reported that median home prices fell year over year in nearly nine out of every 10 metropolitan markets.