With a major decrease in Canadian bond yields to 0.52 as of March 27, 2015. The plummet in bond yields is in part due to the surprise rate cut at the Bank of Canada's meeting in January. In spite of that, posted mortgage rates have moved slightly lower and banks passed through only a partial amount of the 25 basis point rate cut to prime rates that govern variable mortgages. The forecasts for future rate decisions have seen fluctuation. The five-year bond yield hit a record low of 0.59% but has since rebounded. The five-year fixed mortgage rate is currently at 4.74% which may be the absolute floor. The 0.75% decline in the five-year bond yield translated to only a 0.04% reduction in the qualifying rate.

It may be a while before mortgage rates move substantially higher. The mortgage rate forecast for 2015 and 2016 are shown below. Projections show that mortgage rates will continue to stay at historic lows for the remainder of the year. As the Canadian economy rebounds from the decline in oil prices and if the US Federal Reserve begins to tighten in the summer months, we may see some upward pressure on long-term interest rates in the last quarter of this year and into 2016.


Source: Bank of Canada, BCREA Economics



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2015 is the year in which the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act is anticipated to come fully into force and will commence operations. As a strata corporation, owner or tenant, are you looking for an efficient way to settle disagreements at a reasonable cost? Look no further. The Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) will be Canada's first online tribunal and will be the handy tool to be utilized in settling disputes. It is a straightforward, convenient and timely process.

Strata owners have been longing for a better - and faster - method to resolve disputes. In 2012, the government introduced the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act which was an alternative to court. Fast forward three years and this new online tribunal is ready to be launched. The CRT is being designed primarily as an online tribunal. It provides information regarding strata dispute resolutions as well as any small claims issues which include:

x  Non-payment of monthly strata fees or fines
x  Unfair actions by the strata corporation or by people owning more than half of the strata lots in a complex
x  Unfair, arbitrary or non-enforcement of strata bylaws (such as noise, pets, parking, rentals etc)
x  Issues of financial responsibility for repairs and the choice of bids for services
x  Irregularities in the conduct of meetings, voting, minutes or other matters
x  Interpretation of the legislation, regulations or bylaws and 
x  Issues regarding common property.

Strata disputes can be resolved in one of two ways: (1) The CRT Process or (2) The Existing Court System (Provincial and Supreme Courts of BC). If a party wishes to use the online process to resolve a dispute against a strata corporation, the corporation must participate in the online process as well. 

For additional information regarding the CRT, check out their website: Civil Resolution Tribunal

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