1315_Nareit Testimonials_Cremers_2023-06-20_v2
06/26/2023 | by Diane Rusignola

Eric Cremers, president and CEO of PotlatchDeltic Corp. (Nasdaq: PCH), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITweek: 2023 Investor Conference, held in New York June 6-8.

Cremers discussed the PotlatchDeltic merger with CatchMark Timber in September 2022, noting that the integration is going “exceptionally well,” with about two-thirds of CatchMark’s 25 employees joining the PotlatchDeltic team. Cremers added that the merger has also helped put the company on track to achieve its goal of harvesting 1.6 million tons of timber per year.

Cremers said that lumber and log demand has been down this year as a result of increased interest rates that have made housing less affordable.

“We’ve been pleasantly surprised [though] that housing starts weren’t even lower than where they’re coming in at,” he said. “They’ve been in the 1.3, 1.4 million [starts per year] range, so they’ve been better than we expected.”

Turning to housing, Cremers said that PotlatchDeltic is focused in part on repair/remodel, with roughly 40% of lumber demand driven by that segment. New residential construction, on the other hand, drives about 35% of lumber demand, he added.

“As the [Federal Reserve] stops raising interest rates, and perhaps even there’s a Fed rate cut or two—we think new residential construction demand gets right back on track,” he said.