Vista Land makes strategic shift into upscale township segment
Billionaire Manuel Villar Jr.’s housing giant Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc. is making up for its late entry into the township segment.
Villar said on Thursday they would embark on a rollout binge for 44 estate projects spanning over 1,400 hectares. These would be sprawling cities with condominium towers, malls, schools and office buildings.
Set to launch over the next year, the estates will be located in cities across Mega Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
For Villar, the move represents a strategic shift for Vista Land, a leader in mass housing, as it seeks to offer more upscale and profitable projects.
“To be fair, the per capita income of Filipinos has gone up significantly. We are moving up,” he told reporters during a media briefing on Thursday.
Shift in preferences
The move into estate projects also taps into the growing preference for suburban and community-type developments as the hybrid home and office work setup gained favor during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re seeing a trend toward suburban CBDs [central business districts],” he said. “It can’t all be Makati. Now, people want to work at home and inside coffee shops.”
Villar said some of the land for its estate projects were acquired decades ago. He said building residential towers also made more sense given the surge in valuations at the properties.
Horizontal-type housing projects make up the bulk of Vista Land sales but Villar said these will eventually be replaced by sales from mid and high-rise buildings.
“We have not gone big in vertical. We are known as a horizontal player,” Villar said.
Vertical over horizontal
“Inevitably, the vertical will exceed the horizontal,” he added.
Meanwhile, Villar said the move toward townships and higher-priced homes might improve Vista Land’s stock market valuation, which he insisted was “undervalued.”
He believed the market may have penalized Vista Land for its focus on cheaper housing.
In a separate statement on Thursday, Vista Land said its estate projects will also feature business parks, university towns, medical centers and convention facilities apart from commercial and retail districts.