Existing home sales in January fell to the lowest level in 18 months as extreme winter weather continued to pummel the housing market, USA Today reported. Sales of existing homes declined 5.1 percent from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million homes, the National Association of Realtors said Friday. Analysts had estimated that homes were sold at a 4.68 million annual pace last month. January sales also were down 5.1 percent from January 2013. "Disruptive and prolonged winter weather patterns across the country are impacting a wide range of economic activity, and housing is no exception," said the association's chief economist, Lawrence Yun. He also cited other obstacles, including tight credit, higher prices, higher mortgage rates and limited inventory. "These issues will hinder home sales activity" until stronger job growth bolsters demand and housing starts boost supply, Yun said.