Jerry Barag, CEO of CatchMark Timber Trust, Inc. (NYSE: CTT), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITworld: 2019 Annual Conference in Los Angeles.
Barag explained that CatchMark is focused on five markets across the South where conditions are “robust.” For the last several years, he said, the REIT has been successful in expanding its harvests in those markets, while seeing modest price appreciation.
CatchMark’s joint ventures have also been performing well, Barag said. He noted that operating conditions in Texas this year have been particularly good for its Triple-T joint venture, which is performing above expectations.
Turning to the single-family housing market heading into 2020, Barag said he expects conditions to remain “pretty steady.”
The combination of deferred entry into the market by millennial buyers and low interest rates have clearly been supporting the continued purchase of new housing, he said.
Barag also noted that demand for lumber in the repair and remodel market has now exceeded demand in the new home building market, which has never happened before. “Fundamentally things are changing in the U.S. demographically, as well as how people think about their home purchasing decision,” he said.