With this sweltering desert city enduring one of the largest tumbles in housing prices for any urban area since the Depression, there is an unrelenting stream of foreclosures to choose from. On some days, hundreds are offered for sale at the auctions that take place on the plaza in front of the county courthouse.
There is also a large supply of foreclosed families who can no longer qualify for a loan. And that is prompting a flood of investors like Mr. Jarvis, who wants to turn as many of these people as possible into rent-paying tenants in the houses they used to own.
Real estate got just about everyone into trouble in Phoenix, and the thinking seems to be that real estate is going to get everyone out.
The low end of the real estate market here — and in some equally hard-hit places like inland California and coastal Florida — is becoming as wild as anything during the boom.
In January, Mr. Jarvis began working as director of investor relations for Brewer Caldwell, a property management firm that had been approached by the CBI Group Investments, a real estate fund based in Calgary, Alberta. In its first foray into the American market, CBI Group Investments is buying 175 rental houses in Phoenix.
Still, their feelings are mixed. “It’s not our house anymore; it’s someone else’s,” said Mrs. Aguilar, who works for the state welfare department.
For CBI Group Investments, the deal is sweet. “This type of deal is absolutely not available in Canada,” said Jarrett Zielinski, a CBI Group Investments executive. “No city here has fallen by 50 percent, the way Phoenix has.”
The investment group is opening a new fund this week to buy another 160 Phoenix homes.