With just a bit more than half the year gone, REITs have raised more money through common stock offerings than at any other time in the past nine years, according to data from SNL Financial. As of early July, the industry had raised nearly $14.5 billion in stock offerings. The highest full-year total previously had been $13.2 billion in 2006. REITs have also raised about $2.3 billion in debt offerings this year for a combined total of $16.8 billion. That's more than the industry raised in 2008 when all forms of offerings totaled $14 billion.

However, despite the rise in stock offerings, the industry remains off the pace of capital it raised in peak years largely because of a dropoff in debt offerings. The highest year on record remains 2006, when REITs raised $46.9 billion. That year, more than half the total was in the form of senior debt - $28.8 billion. Between 2000 and 2007, REITs raised $132.5 billion in senior debt—an average of $16.6 billion a year. The total for 2008 and 2009 combined, however, is just about $7 billion.

Overall, REITs have completed 75 offerings this year—nearly equaling the 2008 total of 92. It puts 2009 on pace to exceed the total number of offerings completed in 2007 or 2008, but well behind the numbers completed during the stretch of years from 2002 to 2006 when REITs averaged 243 offerings per year. The industry's peak was 2004, when REITs completed 294 offerings.