Wilfredo Lee, File, Associated Press
In this Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, file photo, a "sale pending" sits atop a realty sign outside a home for sale in Surfside, Fla. The National Association of Realtors releases pending home sales index for July on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015.

WASHINGTON — Slightly more Americans signed contracts to buy homes in July, as pending sales rebounded slightly after dipping in June.

The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 0.5 percent to 110.9 last month. This marks a slight recovery from June, when the index fell to 110.4 after reaching 112.3 in May, a level last seen in 2006.

Steady job growth coupled with low mortgage rates has improved home sales this year. As the recovery from the Great Recession enters its seventh year, more Americans have rebuilt their savings, increased their home equity and returned to the real estate market.

Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases. A lag of a month or two usually exists between a contract and a completed sale.