Real estate firms are looking to scoop up foreclosed houses and maintain them as rental properties before selling them when housing markets recover. Burl East, a managing principal of Silver Portal Capital LLC, is raising $150 million to buy foreclosed homes in Greater San Diego, with plans to rent the homes and sell them within five years. Camden Property Trust, one of the nation's largest multifamily REITs, is considering a similar tactic in other markets, including Las Vegas; Orlando, Fla.; and Phoenix.

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