WESTERN BUREAU:Jermaine Woozencroft scored one goal and assisted in the other as Red Stripe Premier League champions Montego Bay United (MBU) outlasted FC Reno 2-0 in their western derby at Frome Sports Ground yesterday afternoon.The midfielder entered play in the 79th minute and immediately looked the part as his calm presence on the ball and his eye for spectacular passes meant that MBU, who, up to that point, were lucky to be in the game, began to stamp their class.Allan Ottey benefited from a Woozencroft corner kick in the 81st minute to score with an easy tap in.Woozencroft then scored his team’s second. The FC Reno defenders again were slow to shut the MoBay attackers down and Woozencroft capitalised with a simple pass into the goal, with Dennis Taylor, the Reno goalkeeper, wrong-footed.The champions took a step up the standings on nine points, while Reno remain on seven points, following their first loss of the season.Dino Williams’ spectacular overhead effort in the 75th minute was the closest the striker got, while at the other end, Afiba Chambers watched his close-range header as it skipped off the crossbar for Reno’s best effort.Montego Bay United gave a start to Serbian defender Zvezdan Dordilovic, and he had a fine outing in tandem with Ronaldo Rodney and central defender Ladale Richie.TEAM COHESIONDillon Thelwell, MBU’s assistant coach, believes the team is beginning to gel at the right time.”The team is looking good right now. I think we are beginning to gel, and that’s bad news for the opposition and good news for us as we go about defending our title,” said Thelwell.”Woozencroft was not looking too good in training, so we decided not to start him today (yesterday). I think that was a wake-up call for him and he came out here when he got his chance and put on a show as usual,” noted Thelwell.Reno’s technical director, Wendell Downswell, said his team’s failure to get a point from the fixture was as a result of two lapses.”We will rebound, though. We never had much luck either way today, but we are looking for three points against Portmore in our next match,” said Downswell.
Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insight of Lexington, Mass., said he believes a sales slowdown would be enough to hold home price increases to around 2 percent to 3 percent next year, compared with recent double-digit price increases. “Our view is that housing is set to slow down, but it will be a fairly benign slowdown,” he said. Those worried about a bigger drop fear that investors who purchased homes during the boom times, in hopes of turning a quick profit, will try to dump investments that are no longer appreciating as quickly in price, which would create a glut of homes on the market. There is also concern that rising mortgage rates and moderating prices could cause trouble for homeowners who used one of the new exotic mortgage instruments, such as interest-only loans, to buy a more expensive home than they could normally afford. On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve and other federal banking regulators put out for public comment new guidance for banks making loans using nontraditional mortgage products. The regulators said in a joint written statement that banks must “recognize that certain nontraditional mortgage loans are untested in a stressed environment,” and so banks must monitor those loans more closely and also consider setting aside bigger loan loss reserves. The 5.3 percent increase in construction activity in November was the biggest one-month advance since a 10.6 percent gain last April. It reflected a 4.8 percent increase in single-family construction and a 7.9 percent rebound in multifamily construction. Building permits, which are considered a good barometer of future activity, rose 2.5 percent to an annual rate of 2.16 million units, after having fallen 5.2 percent in October. Analysts said this rebound had to be balanced against other evidence that builders are beginning to scale back plans in the face of slowing demand. David Seiders, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, said three-fourths of builders surveyed by his organization reported they were encountering price resistance, with many offering incentives to keep their sales volume up. For November, housing construction was down 1.3 percent in the South but up by 12.3 percent in the Midwest, 11.5 percent in the West and 11 percent in the Northeast. The 0.7 percent drop in the Labor Department’s Producer Price Index mirrored a similar 0.6 percent fall in consumer prices, which was the biggest drop in 56 years. Food prices at the wholesale level were up 0.5 percent in November with more than half of that increase coming from a big jump in egg prices. Outside of food and energy, the so-called core rate of inflation at the wholesale level showed a small increase of 0.1 percent after a decline of 0.3 percent in October. On the Net: Housing starts: http://www.census.gov/newresconst Wholesale prices: http://www.bls.gov/ppi160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Rates on 30-year mortgages are now at 6.30 percent, up from 5.68 percent a year ago, and the forecast is that they will climb higher as the Federal Reserve continues raising interest rates to keep inflation under control. A second report on Tuesday indicated that wholesale inflation moderated in November with wholesale prices declining by 0.7 percent. It was the biggest drop in 2 years and was led by big declines in gasoline and other energy prices. Analysts, however, said they expected inflation pressures to return in coming months with homeowners facing winter heating bills that will be significantly higher than a year ago. On Wall Street, a big decline in General Motors Corp. stock helped push the Dow Jones industrial average down by 30.98 points Tuesday to close at 10,805.55. After five straight years in which sales have set records for both new and previously owned homes, the big question is whether the expected slowdown in sales will be moderate or severe enough to send home prices plunging. WASHINGTON – New home construction unexpectedly increased in November at the fastest pace in seven months in what could be a final flourish for the nation’s 5-year-old housing boom. The Commerce Department reported that construction activity rose by 5.3 percent in November from the October pace, when housing construction had fallen by 6.6 percent. Analysts were taken by surprise by the size of the rebound, which pushed construction of homes and apartments to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.123 million units. They had been forecasting a more modest 0.3 percent rise. However, they said the November performance does not change their view that housing is peaking and will move to lower levels next year under the impact of rising mortgage rates.