REITs are poised once again to pick up the pieces from the commercial-property bust. This year, they have tapped the stock market for nearly $15bn in new equity and, this month have raised $2bn in unsecured debt.

The equity deals diluted shareholders' ownership stakes, but positioned many REITs -- such as mall owner Simon Property Group Inc. and warehouse landlord ProLogis -- to avoid loan defaults and have buying power when distress hits the market.

Few of the private-equity funds that became Wall Street stars during the boom can say the same thing. An increasing number are trying to raise cash to recapitalize existing investments.

Wall Street Journal