Here's a real-estate expert, telling it exactly how it is: Hedge Funds are buying real-estate with cheap/free money borrowed from the FED, then they'll do a classic 'pump-and-dump' scheme and sell them on, overpriced, to people who will be able to get a Bank loan without any downpayment in a 'no questions asked' mortgage application, in a repeat of the Subprime scandal. The Hedge funds make millions whilst selling over-priced assets to people who think this is their last chance to get on the housing ladder.
What will happen next is that the market will crash, and people will (once again) find themselves underwater (with their house being worth less than they paid for it) and/or interest rates going up, which means they can no longer afford to live there. Then the big fish move in again, buy the repossessed homes on the cheap (again) and away we go:
Of course it is certainly unethical, it should be illegal, but who cares about that any more, these days?
NB The Guest has a very annoying 'urgent' style, which you'll have to forgive, but it's full of interesting info.