Perseverance is a virtue, and the nation's home builders are displaying plenty of perseverance, even if they are not necessarily displaying it happily. The home builders' housing index remained unchanged in August, at a depressed level of 15. Components for present sales and buyer traffic inched higher, but home builders still aren't expecting any noticeable improvement in sales over the next six months.

The market for new-home sales might not be improving, but it doesn't appear to be worsening either. Housing starts dipped slightly in July, but continue to hover around 600,000 units per year, which is actually a higher level than what was seen six months ago. Unfortunately, the new-home market will likely remain anemic until we see a significant uptick in employment numbers.

Weak job growth is also taking a toll on existing home sales. July sales failed to live up to expectations, falling 3.5 percent to a 4.67 million annual rate. The good news is that prices remain stable nationally, with the median price holding near $174,000 and the average price holding at $224,000. Month-over-month, the price trend has been positive, though it is still slightly down year-over-year.

Price trends in producer and consumer goods, on the other hand, have been decidedly up. Consumer prices, in particular, have been moving perceptively higher. Consumer prices were up 0.5 percent in July and are up 3.6 percent year-over-year. This exceeds the Federal Reserve's 2 percent annual price-inflation target.

Many economists have raised concerns of a growing inflation threat. Credit markets, on the other hand, are showing no concerns. In fact, over the past week, the 10-year Treasury note – the baseline investment for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loans – is down over 25 basis points and is yielding below 2.10 percent, an all-time low.

Prime 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are usually priced 2.25 to 2.5 percentage points above the 10-year Treasury yield. Not surprisingly, interest rates on these loans are also approaching an all-time low. This tells us that the state of the economy, not inflation, is the overriding concern of credit investors.

Can mortgage rates go lower still? Yes, they can, but will they do so is another matter. Timing markets is impossible, which is why we advise borrowers to lock if they are happy with their rate and payment schedule. We then advise them to cease following mortgage rates. After all, there is no sense in self-inflicting frustration when you are perfectly happy with the deal you received.