News in brief: Architects, builders and loans



LendingTree reports that down payment percentages for 30-year, fixed-rate purchase mortgages are declining, just as home prices and mortgage rates begin to increase. The study reveals that average down payments have dropped 9.4 percent since May 2011.

"As the housing market begins to improve, lenders are beginning to loosen their guidelines to more normalized standards and approve loans with lower down payments," said Doug Lebda, LendingTree founder and CEO. "Although a good credit score is still important to have, borrowers may have an easier time qualifying for loans after years of tight guidelines, especially as home prices rise and we see fewer homeowners underwater."

The top 10 states with the lowest average down payment percentage for a 30-year, fixed-rate conventional loan offered by LendingTree are: Mississippi, 11.9 percent; West Virginia, 12.0 percent; Alabama, 12.4 percent; Kansas, 12.7 percent; Missouri, 13.2 percent; South Dakota, 13.4 percent; Indiana, 13.6 percent; Tennessee, 13.6 percent; Idaho, 13.6 percent; and Wisconsin, 13.7 percent.

Florida ranked 42nd, with an average down payment of 16.5 percent, just ahead of the national average of 16.1 percent. New Jersey, at 20.5 percent, California, New York, Massachusetts, and Hawaii have the highest average down payment percentages.


State College of Florida is moving ahead with the design of an academic building at SCF-Bradenton and the renovation of the Student Services Building at SCF-Venice.

The SCF board approved a contract with Williamson Dacar Associates for professional design services for the building on the Bradenton campus. Construction on the 36,000-square-foot building, which will replace some of the oldest buildings on the campus, is expected to start this year and be completed by the start of the fall 2014 semester.

The renovation of the Student Services Building at SCF Venice is expected to be completed this fall.


Through Sunday, home buyers at four Sarasota-Venice area communities where either Centex or DiVosta are building can save up to $10,000 by taking advantage of 20 percent-off design options, including cabinets, tile and wood flooring and granite counter tops.

The sales events are being hosted at IslandWalk at the West Villages in Venice and The Isles on Palmer Ranch in Sarasota, where DiVosta is building two- and three-bedroom homes priced from the high- $100,000s to the mid-$300,000s; and at Cypress Falls in North Port and Riverwood in Port Charlotte, where Centex is building two- and three-bedroom homes priced from the mid-$100,000s to the $200,000s.


Last modified: June 7, 2013
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