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Vista Land aims to secure industry leadership

[ ] July 7, 2011

VISTA Land & Lifescapes Inc. is expanding its presence to tap more unserved markets in the country.

Sen. Manuel Villar, founder of Vista Land, told reporters the property developer would expand its presence to 62 municipalities and 70 cities nationwide by next year to cement its position as the country’s biggest homebuilder.

“We are now in 48 municipalities and 62 cities so anywhere you want to buy, we have [house and lot products],” said Villar.

Vista Land’s strength is anchored on the extensive reach of its land bank, allowing overseas Filipinos, which account for 60 percent of Vista Land’s sales, to purchase their residential products wherever they are.

“OFWs want to buy houses in their home provinces and not in Metro Manila,” said Villar.

Known for its single-detached houses, Vista Land recently diversified into the fast-growing condominium market, offering vertical products through Vista Residences.

But Vista Land has no intention to go big in the vertical segment unlike other property firms where condominiums account for a large chunk of their revenues.

“95 percent of our houses are actually being used by the end users compared to condominiums which cater to a more speculative market,” Villar said.

Contribution of Vista Residences to the company is now at 16 percent and this will stay below 20 percent as the company continues to focus serving the house and lot market, said Villar.

“Our condo segment is getting stronger, sharp increase, but people who prefer house and lots will always be there,” he said, adding that condominiums are only strong in Metro Manila.

With only two years left in his term as a senator, Villar said he would focus on building up the Vista Land brand, which the market has yet to “understand” and “appreciate.”

Vista Land, which joined the bourse in 2007, may consider a follow-on offering to allow more foreign investors to purchase the company’s stock. Foreign shareholders account for 35 percent of its public float of about 32 percent.

“We dominate the house and lot market and yet investors do not put a premium on this,” said Villar.

He said the company would conduct a follow-offering when its price-earnings ratio is around 12 times. Its shares are trading at a P/E ratio of eight times, which means that investors now are willing to pay P8 for every P1 of the company’s profit, compared to the market’s 14 times.

Vista Land shares fell to P3.15 on Wednesday from P3.19 each on Tuesday.

Krista Angela M. Montealegre

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