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Condo builder targets university areas

Posted on December 09, 2013 10:02:21 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

THE CONDOMINIUM-focused subsidiary of listed Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc. plans to build more projects near schools next year, senior company officials said last week.

“Lined up for next year are university areas,” Maribeth C. Tolentino, president of Vista Residences, Inc., said in an interview in Makati City on Wednesday last week.

“We already have one (condominium) near La Salle (De La Salle University in Manila, or DLSU), two near UST (University of Santo Tomas in Manila) and one near Ateneo (Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City),” she added.

“We are eyeing one (more) each in those areas.”

In a telephone interview last weekend, Red J. Rosales, Vista Residences vice-president for planning and marketing, said the company will spend P1.5 billion to build the three buildings with total sales estimated at P3 billion.

“Usually, we build 30-storey condominiums near campus areas,” Mr. Rosales said.

“Most of our existing units are already 95-100% sold out.”

Ms. Tolentino said the company is targeting those who buy units as investments.

“It’s like dormitory, it is a rental business, so it is good for investors,” she said. “In university areas, we do joint ventures; we also look for some properties that are available for acquisition.”

Building high-rise residential projects near campuses is a common strategy among developers as investors usually take bulk orders.

Sy-led SM Development Corp. has Blue Residences along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City near the Ateneo and Sun Residences in the Welcome Rotonda area in Quezon City near UST. It is also building Green Residences along Taft Avenue in near DLSU.

Vista Land, the property investment holding firm of the family of company founder and former Sen. Manuel B. Villar, Jr., recorded a net income of P3.79 billion as of end-September, up 16.98% from P3.24 billion in the same nine months last year.

Revenues rose 20.51% to P15.92 billion from P13.21 billion, while cost of sales increased 22.35% P11.99 billion from P9.8 billion.

In the same comparative periods, revenues of Vista Residences alone went up 38% to P820 million from P595 million, “attributable to the increase in overall completion rate of its sold inventories in the nine-months of 2013.” Reservation sales rose 18% annually to P35.5 billion from P30.1 billion as the company launched 27 projects collectively worth P19.4 billion.

Vista Land had planned to spend P18.6 billion this year, with nearly P10 billion earmarked to start new projects and the rest for land acquisition.

Shares of Vista Land ended trading yesterday at P5 apiece, unchanged since Thursday last week. -- Cliff Harvey C. Venzon            
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