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.