A National Association of Realtors index that gauges pending sales of resale homes dropped 6.8 percent in July compared to the same period last year.

The Pending Home Sales Index, which is based on contracts signed in July, dropped 3.2 percent compared to June 2008, to 86.5. A score of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity in 2001, which was the first year examined for the index.

Regionally, the index fell 13.4 percent in the South, 13.2 percent in the Northeast and 2.4 percent in the Midwest while rising 6.5 percent in the West in July 2008 compared to July 2007, the association reported.

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