Wall Street firms scouring the frenzied U.S. housing market are tapping a new source of properties that regular buyers can’t reach.

Cerberus Capital Management and related entities bought more than 200 houses in the first quarter through next-generation home flippers called iBuyers, including 138 from Opendoor Technologies Inc. The pipeline to Wall Street from Silicon Valley often means the homes never hit the open market. 

Other single-family landlords, flush with cash to bet on the demand for suburban rentals, are applying the same strategy. Their purchases come as many Americans can’t afford to buy houses — a side effect of the pandemic-driven real estate rush that’s sparked bidding wars for a shortage of available properties.

“At a moment when we have once-in-a-generation low inventory, we have for-profit companies making the decision to withhold houses from the…

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