Blackstone is the largest investor in single-family homes to manage as rentals, acquiring properties in nine cities, from Miami to Phoenix, where prices surged 22 percent in the 12 months through October. The firm, along with Thomas Barrack's Colony Capital LLC and Two Harbors Investment Corp. (SBY), is seeking to transform a market dominated by small investors into a new institutional asset class that JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) estimates could be worth as much as $1.5 trillion.

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