What are Federal Fund Rates and How it Impacted in CRE in 2023?


The CRE market is quite complicated. It takes a lot of time for a person to understand things. Thus, it is crucial to put in efforts to understand various aspects of the industry.

This can make a huge difference and guarantee the investment you are making is successful. Considering how the federal fund rates are now changing, you must understand how it affects the industry and what difficulties it will bring you.

You can read ahead to get proper information about all the essentials you need to know. It will help make the right decisions with the investment.

Federal Funds Rate

When described in simple terms, the federal fund rate is the target interest rate set by the Federal Open Market Committee.

The target is the rate here using which the commercial banks are allowed to lend or borrow additional reserves to each other overnight.

FOMC here is the policymaker body of the Federal Reserve System. They meet about eight times a year to set the target federal funds rate, which is essential to the monetary policy. This will help promote better economic growth.

Understanding the Federal Funds Rate

To simplify it, you must understand that the federal fund rate is the interest rate the banks are allowed to charge from the other institutions for lending extra cash to them on an overnight basis.

For the law, it is mandatory for the banks to maintain a reserve that is equal to a certain percentage of the deposit present in their account at the Federal Reserve Bank.

Herein, the amount that a bank must keep in its Fed account is known as the reserve requirement and is dependent entirely on the bank’s total deposits.

The financial institutions are required to keep up with the interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve Banks to ensure they have enough money to carry on withdrawals, deposits, and other obligations.

Now, when the money in the reserve exceeds the required level available for lending, it indicates a shortfall.

The end-of-the-day balances in the account of the bank are averaged over the two-week reserve maintenance periods. They are used to determine if it meets the reserve requirements.

If the bank is expected to have end of a day balance of more than what’s required, then it can lend the excess amount to the institution that is in the shortfall in the balance. The interest rate for lending is the federal funds rate.

The FOMC here makes the decision about the rate adjustments based on the key economic indicators that depict inflation, recession, or any other issues that can have a major effect on economic growth.

Effective Federal Fund Rates in 1954

The federal funds rate over the years has changed greatly in response to the economic conditions.

During a specific time, it was set quite high at 20% during the 1980s due to the inflation condition of the country. With the great recession, the rate was slashed to a record low of 0% to 0.25% for anchoring growth in the country.

In the year 2022, there were changes made to combat inflation. Fed started to raise the rate. This continued into 2023 as well.

During March 2020, the target rate was just between 0% to 0.25%. However, in July 2023, FOMC made an increase in the rate.

It has been said that the target set funds rate is between 5.25 and 5.5%. Fed stated the increase was done to meet its target of minimum employment while considering the inflation rate of 2%.

As per FOMC, the reasons for this action are the indicators that clearly depict the economy expanding at a modest rate, and there are difficulties for people to get a job. Not to mention, the unemployment rate has also remained low.

During such an inflation period, making changes in the policy is extremely crucial to guarantee that businesses keep on operating safely and in a better way.

No doubt, the impact can also be seen in the CRE market as not all banking institutions are able to provide the financing for commercial real estate that investors require to carry on with the business operations.

During such a time, borrowing and lending becomes extremely crucial to keep up with the needs of the market.

Special consideration

One needs to understand that FOMC in no way can force the banks to charge exact federal funds rate. Rather, they are just responsible for setting a target rate as a guide.

The actual rate the lending banks charge will be determined based on negotiations between the two banks. Herein, the weighted average of the interest rate for all transactions of this type is commonly termed the effective federal funds rate.

While it is impossible for the FOMC to mandate a specific federal funds rate, the Federal Reserve System can adjust the money supply to keep control of the interest rate and ensure it does not move toward the target rate.

Here, by increasing the amount of money in the system, it is absolutely possible for them to cause the interest rates to fall. If there is a decrease in the money supply, then the interest rate can rise significantly.

In addition to the federal funds rate, the Federal Reserve is also responsible for setting a discount rate, which is the interest rate the Fed will charge the banks who borrow money directly from them.

The rate will be a lot higher than the target fed funds rates, especially to encourage the banks to borrow from other banks at a lower federal funds rate.

Impact of the Federal Fund Rate

The federal funds rate across the country is important to understand. This is because it can greatly impact financial and monetary conditions, which in turn can have bearings on broader economic critical aspects such as growth, employment, and inflation.

Herein, the rate also influences the short-term interest rates for everything from auto loans to home loans or credit cards. The lender determines the rate depending on the prime lending rate. Here, the prime rate is the rate at which the bank charges the most credit-worthy borrowers. It is also influenced by the federal funds rate.

Investors need to keep a close watch on the federal funds rate as this is what will affect their borrowing capacity and the interest rate. Adding to it is the stock market, which typically will react very strongly if there is any change in the target rate.

For instance, when there is a decline in the rate, it can make the market leap higher as the boring cost for the companies will be lower.

This is why the stock analyst pays specific attention to the statements that FOMC gives. They try to get a sense of where the target rate will be so as to know how the stock market will perform and what actions to take on time.

Understanding Federal Funds Rate working

In simple words, the federal funds rate will be the interest rate that a bank is responsible for charging each other for lending or borrowing the excess reserves available with them overnight.

Based on the law, the banks must have a minimum reserve level for the deposits. This reserve requirement is held at the Federal Reserve Bank. When a bank has an excess reserve, it can lend the funds overnight to other banks with a deficit in the reserve.

Determining Federal Funds Rate

It is crucial for the Federal Open Market Committee to set up a meeting eight times a year to determine the federal funds rate.

The rates can fluctuate or vary depending on the economic indicator, such as the durable goods order report and the inflation rate. It will both provide signals about the current economic health of the country.

Difference between Regular Interest and Federal Funds

No doubt, both the interest rates and the federal funds rate are important financial indicators in the US. Herein, the difference between the two is that the federal fund rates set the range that the banks will use for lending or borrowing money to each other overnight.

Here, the federal funds rate can greatly impact the financial condition and the borrowing cost. Thus, stock markets are quite sensitive to any changes in this rate.

Besides, the federal fund rates also indirectly affect the short-term interest rates. The interest rate set by the Federal Reserve determines the rate that will cost the banks to borrow money.


During such economic conditions, getting access to finance can be quite difficult. This is why Private Capital Investors is here to offer you the assistance you require.

You can connect with their experts to understand not just the market conditions prevailing but also the right way of financing.

No matter your difficulty, their professionals will be there to help you get the best deals possible.

So, get in touch with them to understand the best commercial real estate loan solution and get started with your investment journey in the right way.

Want to learn more? Get in touch with us today.

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