Sales of existing homes fell 4.3 percent in February, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported, as the pace of transactions cooled from a record rate in January.

Sales of previously owned homes slid to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.84 million units from an upwardly revised 6.1 million-unit pace in January, NAR said. Even so, the February sales pace slightly exceeded expectations of some analysts. The pace was still the fourth-highest on record, the NAR said.

''It's really an expected falloff from the all-time record set in January,'' said David Lereah, NAR chief economist.

The median existing home sales price in February was $161,600, up 8.2 percent from the same month the prior year. Inventories fell to 4.4 months' supply of homes on the market from 4.5 months in January.