Highwoods Properties: What Does It Do?

Highwoods Properties (HIW) is a fully integrated, self-administered, and self-managed REIT.

Peter Barnes - Author

Dec. 15 2015, Updated 10:24 p.m. ET

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History of Highwoods Properties

Headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, Highwoods Properties (HIW) was founded in 1978. The company is structured as a REIT (real estate investment trust) and completed an initial public offering in 1994. The company is now the seventh-largest publicly traded office REIT in the United States and is a part of the S&P 400.

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Business overview

Highwoods Properties is a fully integrated, self-administered, and self-managed REIT. The company is primarily engaged in the ownership, development, acquisition, leasing, and management of properties located mainly in the BBDs (best business districts) of Atlanta, Greensboro, Kansas City, Memphis, Nashville, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Richmond, and Tampa. The company has interests in office, industrial, and retail properties.


Highwoods Properties is one of the largest office REITs in the United States, with a market capitalization of $4 billion. The company competes for rental properties with a number of other office REITs, as well as other real estate companies, private real estate funds, financial institutions, pension trusts, and others. The competition for office leasing space is mainly driven by factors such as the quality of properties and services provided to tenants, attractiveness of leasing terms, location, and reputation of the company operating the office properties.

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Major competitors of Highwoods Properties in the office REIT space include Boston Properties (BXP), Alexandria Real Estate Equities (ARE), SL Green Realty (SLG), Kilroy Realty (KRC), BioMed Realty Trust (BMR), Douglas Emmett (DEI), Paramount Group (PGRE), Equity Commonwealth (EQC), and Columbia Property Trust (CXP). The iShares Cohen & Steers REIT ETF (ICF) invests ~0.93% of its portfolio in Highwoods Properties.

Series content

In this series, we’ll be covering the following topics:

  • Highwoods Properties: What Does It Do?
  • An Overview of Highwoods Properties’ Portfolio
  • A Look at Highwoods Properties’ Geographic Coverage
  • Highwoods Properties’ Diversified Tenant Base
  • How Highwoods Properties Improves the Quality of Its Portfolio
  • Highwoods Properties Acquires Trophy Assets in Recent Years
  • Highwoods Properties’ Strategy to Generate Sustainable Growth
  • Highwoods Properties’ Occupancy Rate Picking Up after Years
  • Highwoods Properties’ Moderate Revenue Growth in Recent Years
  • Highwoods Properties’ Cost Control and Healthy Earnings Margin
  • Evaluating Highwoods Properties’ Net Operating Income Growth
  • Highwoods Properties’ Falling Funds from Operations Payout Ratio
  • A Look at Highwoods Properties’ Recent Acquisitions and Leverage
  • Highwoods Properties: Why the Lower Valuation Multiple?
  • Analyzing Highwoods Properties’ Valuation Multiple
  • Investing in Highwoods Properties through ETFs

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