Each month, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development release a housing scorecard that highlights key market data and the results of federal recovery efforts. In October, the scorecard found positive price trends, low inventory, high affordability, increases in sales, and mortgage rates near record lows. Federal foreclosure prevention and mortgage modification programs have resulted in more than one million permanent HAMP modifications, saving homeowners a median of $541 on their monthly mortgage payment. Despite the strength of recent housing data, however, the report also cautions that the recovery will take place over time due to continued fragility in the market. Still, more than 18 million homeowners have refinanced their loans since April 2009 and home equity posted a sharp gain in the second quarter of this year. More here.