This missed expectations for a 1.6 percent rise to an annual rate of 5 million.
January's reading was revised up to reflect a 0.8 percent rise in sales to an annual rate of 4.94 million.
The national median existing-home price was up 11.6 percent on the year to $173,600. This was the 12th straight monthly rise. The last time home prices were up for 12 months in a row was from June 2005 to May 2006.