National Assoc. of Realtors Report (U.S. Home Sales Report, Mar. 16, 2011)

(for the month of February 2011, homes sales in the U.S. dropped 9.6 percent from the previous month, a record low for the past nine years, with the percentage decline being the largest since July of 2010; median home price fell 5.2 percent from February of 2010; compared with February 2010, home sales down 2.8 percent; housing starts for February 2011 at lowest point in last 27 years; foreclosures and short sales accounted for 39 percent of February transactions (up 37 percent from January 2011); new home sales accounted for less than 10 percent of overall sales; all-cash purchases constituted 33 percent of all transactions in February (a record); note:  these numbers resulted even though for fiscal year 2010 (Sept. 27, 2009 - Oct. 2, 2010), IRS data indicate that more than 2.1 million tax returns legitimately claimed the first-time homebuyer tax credit at a taxpayer cost of $15,642,149,000; IRS data re-establishes notion that "targeted" tax cuts generally are not effective).