Sales of new homes recovered in October after suffering a steep drop in September, indicating that the housing market may be stabilizing.

The Commerce Department says new-home sales climbed 10.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 495,000. This rebound followed a 12.9 percent plunge in the sales rate during September.

The new-home sales report tends to be volatile from month to month. Home-buying surged 135.5 percent in the Northeast in October, while rising less aggressively in the Midwest and South. Sales dropped slightly in the West.

Purchases of new homes have surged 15.7 percent year-to-date, benefiting from the solid hiring gains and low mortgage rates.

But prices dipped last month. The median new-home sales price has fallen 8.5 percent from a year ago to $281,500.