The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of the Treasury released their October 2011 Housing Scorecard, which compiles key market data and the results of the administration’s recovery efforts though the end of September. Among the highlights, new home sales were up from August, though still down slightly from the year before, and existing home sales were 10 percent above year ago levels. Also, mortgage defaults and foreclosure sales continued to fall. Raphael Bostic, HUD’s assistant secretary, said falling mortgage defaults are due, in part, to the administration’s foreclosure prevention programs. According to Bostic, a million more homeowners refinanced their loans under historically low interest rates during the last quarter. More here and here.