As Stocks Soar, Advisors Suggest Diversifying with Self-Directed IRAs

As major U.S. stock indices continue to climb to ever greater record highs, more financial planners are encouraging their clients to direct a portion of their retirement portfolios to self-directed IRA strategies. Why? Diversification. The higher stocks go, the more potentially dangerous the market becomes for risk-sensitive investors. The time has come to take some of these recent stock market gains and spread them around to asset classes that may still be available at a more reasonable price, with better risk-adjusted expected returns.

One advisor, Miami, Florida-based Michael Rose of Rose Capital Advisors, suggests self-directed IRA strategies to some wealthy clients in order to “get exposure to these asset classes they might not be able to hold at traditional custodians,” according to this piece by Financial Planner magazine.

By going through a boutique custodian or third-party administrator that specializes in self-directed IRAs and other retirement accounts, it’s quite easy for investors to diversify their stock-heavy retirement portfolios into a vast array of different investments that may help diversify their holdings and potentially lower exposure to risk if and when equity markets turn sour.

Common asset classes that self-directed IRA investors seek out that aren’t generally available using traditional Wall Street brokerage and investment firms include:

  • Hedge funds
  • Private equity placements
  • Private credit placements and debentures
  • Direct ownership of real estate
  • Raw land purchase
  • Farming and ranching lands
  • LLCs
  • Partnerships
  • Gold and precious metals
  • Overseas real estate
  • Private lending
  • Closely-held corporations (other than S-corps)

…And many others.

Holding some alternative assets within a self-directed IRA or other tax-advantaged retirement account may have especially attractive benefits for investors in higher tax brackets – particularly for income-oriented investments such as real estate, LLCs and lending. If you hold these assets in a taxable account, federal, state and local taxes will eat up a substantial fraction of the investment’s interest or dividend yield. Holding the asset within a self-directed IRA allows income to compound tax-free. There’s no need to send a sizeable fraction of your yield off to the IRS every year. You can reinvest earnings right back into the company, or elsewhere in your IRA as you see fit. You pay income taxes only on the amount you take out, or on income attributable to borrowed money.

The downside is, you lose the right to have your capital gains taxed at lower capital gains tax rates. Taxes on income and capital gains are deferred until the year in which you take the money out of your self-directed IRA. You also don’t get to take depreciation deductions on real property or business capital investments you put to use, because there is no tax on the earnings to deduct against!

Another Good Reason to Buy Rentals In Your Real Estate IRA

Another Good Reason to Buy Rentals in Your Real Estate IRA

With Bitcoin currently making some investors thrilled and others nervous—not to mention a bull market that seems to have no end in sight—it seems the perfect time to diversify one’s portfolio with a Real Estate IRA. The consistent growth and income that can yield from a well-placed investment in real estate is an undeniable tool for building wealth, especially when held in a tax-protected account. Recently, USA Today pointed to a marked growth in the demand for rental properties that could suggest this is the ideal time to focus on real estate as a retirement investment strategy. Here’s why.

Single-Family Rentals: A Reason to Think About the Real Estate IRA?

According to the article in USA Today, single family rentals have seen an uptick in demand, developing “faster than any other portion of the market.” This is even outpacing single family home purchases, which points to a generational change in the way millennials think about housing. With renting becoming more and more the norm, it’s possible that now is an ideal time to enter the market by funding a real estate purchase through a Real Estate IRA.

Within the last three years, the article notes, single family rentals have gone up some 30%. That points to an increased demand worth noticing, especially as investors look for returns out of the stock market. Diversification is the name of the game here, and if there are solid returns to be had that can help a retirement investor increase the breadth of their portfolio, it’s always worth consideration.

Markets Skittish After the Housing Bubble?

The collapse of the housing bubble in 2007-2008 saw many people change their perception of real estate. The old idea used to be that even purchasing one’s own home was an investment. And that sentiment still exists. But the article in USA Today pointed to a change in perception—that perhaps securing a stable source of housing is the ultimate goal, not necessarily home ownership.

This can be an advantage to anyone who does believe that real estate is a great way to invest, because it means there is plenty of demand for rentals on single family homes. With single-family rental homes making up some 35% of the millions of rental units across the country, according to USA Today, that means there are plenty of opportunities for Real Estate IRA investors to consider.

What Every Real Estate IRA Investor Should Know

While this kind of demand is a major positive for anyone who wants to build wealth for retirement and believes in real estate as a vehicle to accomplish that, there are certain rules and regulations that every investor should know. First and foremost is the separation of a Real Estate IRA—and the real estate it holds—from the personal life of the investor. For example, an investor cannot rent from themselves, living in the real estate they hold through the IRA.

It’s important that investors know to treat these single family rental homes as separate entities, just as they would view a stock holding. Having a property manager handle much of it is a great step forward in achieving that goal. These and other rules are easy to follow—but it requires foreknowledge to ensure that they’re all met.

When done the proper way, owning a single family rental unit can be a tremendous boon to an investor’s bottom line. But it’s important to know all the facts as well. Continue reading up on Real Estate IRAs here, or call 866-7500-IRA for more information.

Why You Need Rental Income in a Self-Directed Roth IRA

Why You Need Rental Income in a Self-Directed Roth IRA

What is a Roth IRA, and why do investment professionals recommend it so vigorously? If you’re new to retirement advice, you’ve probably heard this phrase “Roth IRA” and rolled your eyes. It sounds complicated. It sounds like another worry in your life. Yet when you realize the potential in a Self-Directed Roth IRA, you might just begin to feel excited about your potential for building a strong retirement nest egg.

Why? Because the Self-Directed IRA comes with a number of benefits that you might not have considered:

Money in a Self-Directed Roth IRA Grows Tax-Free

When you put money in a Roth IRA, you’re putting in your own after-tax dollars. That means these dollars have already been taxed. The tax protections in a Roth IRA then allow these dollars to grow tax-free with the full protections of an IRA. This is a reversal of the typical situation in which you withdraw retirement money and pay taxes on it then.

When you withdraw your money from your Roth IRA past the appropriate age, that money will be tax-free. It’s not difficult to see why this might help you save thousands—and maybe more—in the future.

Money within a Self-Directed Roth IRA Includes Tax Protections

A Roth IRA is a type of account the government approves for certain tax protections, encouraging people to save for retirement.

Usually, people take advantage of this account by investing in stocks and mutual funds. But with a Self-Directed IRA, you can do much more. You can even invest in real estate. And the real estate you invest in through a Self-Directed IRA allows your rental income to go to that Roth IRA, where it will receive protections.

That means you’re not paying taxes on your rental income, which gives you more flexibility for making a profit on your real estate investments.

Hedging Yourself Against Future Rises in Taxes

When you earn a lot of income from investments, you face the possibility of a higher tax burden. By placing your rental income in a tax-protected Roth IRA, however, you hedge against the possibility of future tax hikes and give yourself some freedom and flexibility for your retirement investments.

The good news about Roth IRAs is that you’ll also have the ability to continue contributions so long as you have paycheck or even contract work. So even as you protect yourself against future tax hikes and a potentially higher tax burden, you can still find ways to place some legal protections on yourself and your nest egg.

The Older You Get, the More Powerful a Roth IRA Becomes

Perhaps the most important feature of the Roth IRA is that it means paying your taxes upfront. As the investments grow tax-free, and you earn more money, you would likely have a higher tax burden. But withdrawing from your Roth IRA past the approved age is easy to do and tax-free. That gives you potential for a tax-free income in retirement, which is essentially like creating your own retirement program or pension.

Real estate is particularly effective in a Roth IRA because it has such high potential to grow—and a Roth IRA is great at protecting assets that grow. If you’re looking into retirement investment or even just real estate investment, it’s always a good idea to consider a Self-Directed Roth IRA.

Like what you’re reading? You can find more information as you browse www.AmericanIRA.com or simply give us a ring at 1-866-7500-IRA(472). We’ll be glad to talk to you about what this means and what American IRA can do to help you along the way.

The Best and Worst Cities for Retiring with a Real Estate IRA

The Best and Worst Cities for Retiring with a Real Estate IRA

USA Today recently released its list of the best and worst cities for retirement, and the results are in: according to the newspaper, Pittsburgh, PA is the best place to retire, followed by the Boston metro area and the Los Angeles metro area. Although many investors are familiar with these lists, we at American IRA wanted to go a step further: what might be the best place to retire with a Real Estate IRA—and would that list differ from what you see in the news?

How to Gauge the Best Places to Retire with a Real Estate IRA

The first question is simple: how does one determine what makes a great place to retire in the first place—particularly when it comes to Real Estate IRAs? There are the obvious demographics, such as home prices. But that alone doesn’t tell the whole tale. One area with inflated home prices might be far inferior to another area with prices that are still low relative to the value of the real estate.

The key is to consider the full range of variables here, including:

  • Crime levels. An area with a high rate of crime tends to inhibit the potential for real estate growth, even if the other statistics are strong.
  • Weather. A great local climate is always a way to attract new investment and renters, which in turn creates a built-in demand for the local real estate.
  • Tax burden. For anyone living on a planned or fixed income, the tax burden is an essential variable to consider. A high tax burden can have enormous fallout, especially with large estates where one percentage point can represent a large portion of money. Property taxes are just as important to consider, because they can affect the perception of property in a locale.
  • Health care. Access to quality health care is important not just because health facilities create high-quality jobs and attract highly-educated workers, but because old age puts you at higher risk for health complications. Those retiring with or without a Real Estate IRA would have to consider access to good health care an essential variable.

Given this information, there’s a good chance you’ll find that areas like Pittsburgh and Boston—highlighted in the USA Today article—stack up strong. But that’s not the only consideration for those with a Real Estate IRA, either.

What Makes a Real Estate IRA so Attractive for Retirement?

The reason a Real Estate IRA can be so potentially attractive for future retirees is the same reason real estate investments are so attractive themselves—they create opportunities for tremendous growth, particularly if you find yourself in a hot area with plenty of demand for quality rental real estate.

The protections afforded by holding real estate within an IRA can also dramatically expand the potential returns for anyone putting aside money for retirement. While it’s not possible to live in a house you hold within a Real Estate IRA, there are other advantages to these tax-protected accounts that make them tremendously beneficial, particularly if you live in an area with lots of real estate buzz, like Pittsburgh.

The tax protections possible when investing in an IRA are tremendous, but they also require knowledge of what the IRS requires and what your own responsibilities will be. For those who are considering where they might want to retire, it’s important to ask questions about specific locations, taking all of the variables listed above into account. For more information on how Real Estate IRA plans work, be sure to contact us here at American IRA at 866-7500-IRA.

The Hottest Markets for Real Estate IRAs

The most important factor in real estate, they say, is “location, location, location!” And so it goes with real estate IRAs, as well. All real estate ultimately comes down to spotting good locations and trying to work with demographic and economic trends rather than against them. A recent study from the National Association of Realtors has identified ten hot real estate markets where demographic and economic trends are working for real estate IRA investors instead of against them.

Ten Hottest Markets for Real Estate IRAs

Three of the top ten are no surprise: San Jose, San Francisco and Vallejo, California are all high-dollar Bay Area markets long known for high real estate prices. And these markets are very difficult for new buyers to get into, thanks to those same high prices.

Number four on the NAR’s list is Fort Wayne, Indiana. This up-and-coming Midwestern city is the second largest city in the state, and a three-time winner of the All-America City Award. Zillow data has Fort Wayne home values rising at an 8.9 percent clip over the next year. The current median home value is $102,800, or about $88 per square foot. In the metro area, you’ll find median home prices of around $156,000, and about the same price per square foot. Zillow is plotting the median rent prices at $700 both in the metro area and outside of town – so you may be able to get a 30 percent ROI boost just by shifting your sights to the suburbs.

And only 30 minutes away is an affordable sleeper community, Decatur, Indiana, which has an average median home price of $81,900, but a low, low unemployment rate of just 3 percent – earning it a place on the National Real Estate Association’s list of Ten Affordable Housing Markets (Where You’d Actually Want to Live.)

San Diego is number five on the list, but it has a much higher ante, with a median home price of $595,800. The market has appreciate 8.6 percent over the last twelve months, and Zillow is anticipating a healthy but not outrageous gain of another 4.2 percent over the next year.

Median rent prices are around $2,500 both in and out of town, with suburbs showing higher prices than the San Diego Metro area. The market is bouyed by great weather year round, its proximity to Mexico, which makes it a major trading hub, a world-class harbor, and, of course, a substantial military presence, with a major Navy base in San Diego as well as Camp Pendleton in nearby Oceanside, California.

Stockton, California rolls in at number six, with median house price appreciation of 11.1 percent. The median list price is $174 per square foot, translating to a median listing price of $268,500. Stockton does have a slightly higher percentage of homes with negative equity, according to Zillow, with 11.6 percent of homes underwater, compared to 10.4 percent for the U.S. as a whole.

Santa Rosa and the California State capital of Sacramento.

Study Portends Bright Future for Private Equity in Self-Directed IRAs

Private Equity is still proving to be a compelling asset class for self-directed IRA investors – continuing to outstrip the general stock market. According to a recent report from Coller Capital, most investors – 62 percent – earned net investment returns of 11 to 15 percent from inception to this year.

That’s solid performance for this underappreciated asset class, though not quite as good as last year, when fully two-thirds of investors experienced returns in the same range.

Private equity is a popular alternative asset class among self-directed retirement investors – particularly those who don’t want to become landlords through a real estate IRA, or those who have particular expertise in one or more industries which gives them a competitive edge when it comes to investing their self-directed IRAs in private equity.

About 18 percent of investors reported annual private equity returns of 16 percent, measuring from inception to 2017. Again, that’s slightly lower than the 20 percent who reported private equity returns in the 16 percent-plus range last year.

About 19 percent of private equity investors have seen annualized returns from inception to 2017 across their entire private equity portfolios, but there were very few – just 1 percent – who saw returns of five percent or less. In contrast, in the Asia-Pacific region, about 35 percent of private equity firms experienced returns in the 6-10 percent range, and 17 percent of private equity market participants report that they experienced incomes of 5 percent or less.

Other findings

Among the study’s other major findings: Most private equity limited partners are concerned about high asset prices (90 percent). 60 percent see protectionism as a big threat to private equity returns.

Most private equity investment respondents see improving prospects, with the most favorable sentiment in the Asia-Pacific region: 52 percent of respondents see improved prospects in private equity in the region in 5-6 years, while only 7 percent expect things to get worse.

In the United States and Canada private equity market, about one in five private equity investors responding – 22 percent, expect things to get worse for PE investors over the next two or three years, while 24 percent expect things to improve. However, there’s a great deal more optimism when it comes to the longer-term outlook: Extend the time horizon out to 5-6 years, only 9 percent expect things to be worse, while 40 percent expect things to be better over that time period.

Interestingly, half of private equity limited partners believe there is much greater tax uncertainty in North America – roughly evenly divided between those who think the tax situation in the U.S. will get better and those who think it will get worse. Uncertainty is much less in Europe and in the Asia-Pacific region.

As for industry sectors, financial technology seems to be the leading the way in the private equity space, with 65 percent of private equity investors seeing investment opportunities increase in this industry. Only about four percent of private equity investors expect things to contract in the financial tech sector. However, indications are that private equity investors are becoming much more selective when it comes to Asia-pacific opportunities.

In credit investments, private equity investors are seeing solid opportunity in special situations, distressed debt, direct lending and mezzanine debt – each of which are popular asset classes among self-directed IRA lenders.

Women Falling Behind in IRA, Self Directed IRA and Other Retirement Savings

A recent Transamerica study found a large and pervasive gender gap when it comes to preparing for retirement. On average, Transamerica found, women have only about a third of the retirement savings that men do. This is true even though women tend to live much longer in retirement than men do – and because women tend to marry younger, they are significantly more likely to outlive their spouses. It’s therefore even more critical for women to invest in self-directed IRAs, 401(k)s, IRAs, SEPs and take advantage of every opportunity they can to boost investment and savings.

Some highlights from the Transamerica survey:

  • Men have more than triple the household retirement savings than women. Men report having saved an estimated median of $115,000 compared to just $34,000 among women. Men (33 percent) are also twice as likely as women (16 percent) to say that they have saved $250,000 or more in total household retirement accounts.
  • Working men (62 percent) are more likely than working women (51 percent) to say saving for retirement is a financial priority right now. Working women (53 percent) are more likely than men (36 percent) to say “just getting by – covering basic living expenses” is a current financial priority.
  • Men are nearly twice as likely as women – 19 to 10 percent – to report being ‘very confident’ in their ability to comfortably retire.
  • A large majority of workers are saving for retirement through an employer-sponsored plan and/or outside of work, men are more likely (80 percent) than women (72 percent) to be saving. In terms of the median age they started saving, men started saving at a younger age (age 26) compared to women (age 28).
  • Self-funded savings including retirement accounts (e.g., 401(k)s, 403(b)s, IRAs) and other savings and investments are the most frequently cited source of retirement income expected by workers, including 77 percent of women and 78 percent of men.
  • Many workers are “guessing” their retirement savings needs. Women (56 percent) are more likely than men (40 percent) to say that they “guessed.” Fewer than one in ten women and men say they have used a retirement calculator to estimate their needs.

It’s clear from the data that women are lagging behind men when it comes to long-term financial security. What can women do to close the gap?

Here are some ideas – with which we heartily concur:

  1. Start now. When you can start making compound interest work for you instead of against you, then every day you delay represents a lost opportunity – not just for accruing interest and potential returns, but an opportunity to build positive financial habits, such as paying yourself first and living on less than you make.

2. Open an IRA or self-directed IRA. Both allow you to set aside up to $5,500 per year for your retirement, on a tax-advantaged basis. If you are age 50 or older, you can contribute another $1,000 per year. Self-directed IRAs allow you to pursue non-traditional retirement assets and alternative asset classes while still preserving the tax advantages of an IRA. If you are a real estate enthusiast, you may wish to consider a self-directed IRA.

3. Boost returns. Over time, women tend to earn lower returns on their investments than men. This is because women tend to gravitate toward lower-return investments than men, seeking safety rather than growth. This is a perfectly fine approach as you near your retirement years. But when you have a decade or more before you need to retire, you might consider taking on a bit more risk as you seek a greater return. That is, if you have the time to recover from temporary market downturns, a bumpy 10 percent return is better than a smooth 6 percent.

4. Slash fees. Many investors are vastly overpaying financial services companies, paying excessive fees like asset under management fees (AUM fees), high fund expense ratios, back-end charges, and hidden fees. Consider switching to index funds, or moving self-directed or alternative assets to a menu-based, flat fee system that can save thousands on larger accounts.

Asheville Still Holds Promise for Real Estate IRAs

We’re obviously quite deep into a bull market for real estate IRAs in much of the country. But a number of economic indicators suggest that the market for real estate IRA investors in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina has a lot of room left to run.

The population is growing fast – much faster than most other cities of similar size across the U.S. as people and employers alike are drawn by the natural beauty of the area, by the recreational and lifestyle features, by the low crime rates and thriving economy, which has been steadily growing and diversifying for the last two decades. According to the Economic Development Coalition of Asheville-Buncombe County and the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, Asheville’s area population has grown by 26,645 people in the last six years. Nearly all of them found a job: The economy added more than 23,000 jobs during the same period. So back out retirees, stay-at-home parents, those living on disability and children and students not yet in the workforce and Asheville’s residents are enjoying near full employment.

The population expansion is widely expected to continue: All told, the population of Asheville is projected to grow by about 21 percent between now and 2046.

The mountainous terrain surrounding Asheville and the nearby communities limits the amount of land that’s easily converted to housing and business use. Furthermore, the community is very environmentally conscious. This may help limit the amount of housing supply growth in the region. All this creates a favorable environment for real estate investors of all stripes, including those who use real estate IRAs. Demand is expected to be very strong in the coming years.

These trends should benefit not just Asheville itself, but bode favorably for all five surrounding counties: Madison, Transylvania, Henderson, Buncombe, and Haywood. Many of the communities in these counties still offer plentiful opportunities to buy properties for real estate IRAs at a reasonable price.

Naturally, real estate investors are constantly seeking sources of financing. This creates more opportunities for self-directed IRA owners. Don’t want to be a landlord or go through the hassles of buying and selling actual properties? You can lend money directly to real estate investors from your IRA or another retirement account, using a self-directed IRA. With rising prices and solid economic fundamentals supporting real estate prices here in the Asheville area, you can lend money secured by quality collateral and potentially enjoy attractive returns in the meantime.

Asheville’s rising population and continuing economic development indicate that the real estate market should be benefiting both landlords and lenders for a long time to come.

Self Directed 401(k)s Versus Self-Directed SEP IRAs

Which is Better for Small Business Owners?

For many owner-operators of small businesses, the Self-Directed Solo 401K may be the way to go, rather than a self-directed SEP IRA plan. Here’s why:

With a Self-Directed Solo 401K plan, you aren’t limited to only one kind of contribution. 401(k) plans allow you to make substantial annual contributions both as an employee and as your own employer, via profit sharing contributions. The business you own and control can make contributions of up to 25 percent of compensation (20 percent for sole proprietorships or single-member LLCs), resulting in a maximum annual combined contribution of up to $53,000 per year.

If you’re age 50 or older, you can potentially defer even more: You can contribute up to $24,000 per year, including an additional $6,000 per year in “catch-up” contributions – and still have the small business you control contribute up to 25 percent of compensation on top of that, for a maximum combined Self-Directed Solo 401K contribution of $59,000.

With a self-directed SEP IRA, on the other hand, you are limited to just the employer contribution of $53,000 and no possibility of additional catch-up contributions under current law.

Furthermore, the total contribution to a self-directed SEP IRA cannot exceed 25 percent of total compensation. That limitation applies to the entire plan. With a self-directed solo IRA, the 25 percent of earnings cap only applies to the employer match portion of the contributions for the year.

Furthermore, a solo 401(k) offers self-directed retirement plan investors the option of establishing a Roth account. This means that contributions will no longer be pre-tax, but the growth in the account will compound tax free for as long as you leave the money in the account. The Roth 401(k) will generally generate tax-free income in retirement for as long as you like, until your Roth funds are exhausted. There is no required minimum distribution requirement that will force you to begin drawing down your account and paying income taxes after you turn age 70½.

Loans

The 401(k) allows for much more flexibility if you want to access your money early.

If you start a Self-Directed Solo 401K plan, you have the option to allow plan loans, which can provide you with a tax-free source of liquidity of up to 50 percent of the 401(k)’s total value for any purpose you like. The catch: You must repay yourself, with interest, within five years of taking out the loan, or your outstanding balance will be subject to income taxes and possible penalties for early withdrawal unless you are at least Age 59½ or otherwise qualify for an exception.

This option is not available for SEP IRAs or any other kind of IRA. While you can lend money to certain third parties within your IRA, you cannot lend money to yourself, your spouse, ascendants or descendants and their spouses.

Tax Efficiency

If you are a self-directed real estate real estate investor or you want to use leverage within your retirement account to invest, you would generally be subject to possible unrelated debt-financed income tax within a self-directed SEP IRA. In most cases, your Self-Directed Solo 401K will not trigger that tax – which can approach 40 percent – provided you use a non-recourse loan.

While there is no one-size fits all situation, if you are a self-employed small business owner and you want to maximize both the amount of money you can contribute each year – especially after turning 50 – and your choices, it may make sense to carefully consider a solo 401(k) plan.

American IRA works with small business owners and self-employed individuals who use precisely these strategies to help them get the most out of their available retirement assets. We’d like to help you do the same.

Call American IRA today at 866-7500-IRA(472), or contact us via the Web at www.americanIRA.com.

 

Real Estate IRA Trends for 2018

It looks like most of the easy money in real estate IRAs has been made. The National Association of Realtors is looking for slower rates of home appreciation in 2018, as the supply of homes for sale finally catches up with demand later in the year.

Inventory will remain tight, however, at least through the first quarter, but aggressive construction will make itself felt in the marketplace in the fall.  

There are still pockets of intense demand and shortage, and price trends are very positive for certain markets experiencing high job growth. The NAR expects a lot of new supply to come up for sale in the fall of 2018, so we may see some price weakness as we head into the 4th quarter of the year, says NAR chief economist Danielle Hall.

Sell to Millennials.

Millennials – those born between about 1980 and 1998, are now major players in the real estate market. Obviously, lots of these younger Americans will be renting. But they’re already major players in the homebuying market as well. More of them are qualifying for mortgages that are beginning to place them well beyond the “starter home” category.

Two-thirds of starter home buyers are Millennials. Though many of these young Americans currently rent, a substantial percentage are becoming major players in the homebuying market as well. Real estate IRA investors looking to gain the attention of Millennials and the younger family demographic should structure their investments accordingly.

Mortgage Rates Will Increase

Real estate IRA investors should lock in their rates early – and encourage anyone they are selling to to do the same. A combination of strong economic growth and tighter monetary policy and fear of inflation will create upward pressure on mortgage rates. Conventional 30-year rates could tick up to 5 percent by the end of 2018, projects the NAR.

Southern Markets Will Lead

We are happy to report potential real estate IRA prospects are strongest here in the South. The National Association of Realtors projects that southern markets will experience 6 percent growth, on average, compared to just 2.5 percent for the overall U.S. market. The South continues to generate substantial economic growth as employers flock to our warmer, milder climate. Both job growth and household growth are combining to make the southern and southeastern United States particularly attractive for real estate IRA investors.