RBA change: housing concerns ease, commercial property concerns rise. Has the Reserve Bank’s twitchiness on the impact of rising housing prices -- evident in last September’s board meeting minutes and Financial Stability Review later that month -- eased and switched to commercial property? Judging by the change in sentiment and words in the March 3 minutes from the RBA, compared to those from the September meeting (both sets of minutes contain summaries of the soon-to-be released Financial Stability Reviews), that seems to be the case.

While the RBA remains concerned about house prices, especially in Sydney, it is definitely getting toey about commercial property (“risks are beginning to build”), which has long been watched by the RBA and its co-regulator, the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority because of the sector’s track record in producing nasty crunches and crashes for banks and other financial entities (commercial property collapses almost destroyed Westpac and the ANZ in the recession of the early 1990s, and brought down the state-owned banks in Victoria, South Australia and WA).