According to Morgan Stanley, many people view real estate as the top alternative-asset class to own. Almost 60% of those surveyed expect to add to their real estate investments, whether through a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) or direct ownership.
Properties that were historically purchased and held for appreciation, now can provide income to the IRA as well. In addition the unprecedented displacement of families from the economic downturn have increased the demand for rental properties, as few new units came on the market during the past eight years.
Most investors seek out real estate for certain tax benefits, such as depreciation, long-term capital gains, or they utilize tax deferring exchanges to move from one investment to another. The benefit of holding rental real estate in an IRA is that there are no taxes due as long as the investment has not been distributed to the IRA owner.