VISTA LAND & Lifescapes, Inc. (VLL) continues to eye more residential projects to be launched in the second half of 2020 after a subdued performance in the first half due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Villar-led property developer said it had been recording 70% of its pre-COVID sales as of June, and its performance in the two months that followed had continued to improve.

“[I]f this sales trajectory continues, we might decide to launch more projects in the fourth quarter. We do not need to acquire new land anyway as we have an existing land bank of about 3,000 hectares,” VLL President and CEO Manuel Paolo A. Villar said in the statement.

The company noted that despite the impact of the pandemic to its first semester performance — where VLL posted a 40% income cut to P3.4 billion — its residential and leasing segments had recovered.

In particular, there has been a growing interest for residential projects in locations outside Metro Manila since the pandemic happened.

“We have witnessed that shift of customer preference to house and lot products in the provincial areas as evidenced by the increase in proportionate sales coming from our housing products outside Mega Manila compared to the same period last year,” VLL Chairman Manuel B. Villar, Jr. said in the statement.

The leasing segment has also been steadily growing, with 79% of VLL’s gross floor area having restarted operations after being limited to 20% at the height of the lockdown.

“The 21% that remain closed are those tenants that are still not allowed to operate as per government mandated restrictions,” the company chairman said.

VLL’s portfolio is composed of horizontal, vertical and commercial segments. It owns companies such as Brittany Corp., Crown Asia Properties, Inc., Vista Residences, Inc., and Camella Homes, Inc.

“This pandemic may have upended the real estate industry and the economy in general yet a lot of opportunities are still there… Right now, we are making the necessary adjustments to our business operations in order to better position the company once the economy fully recovers,” Mr. Villar said.

Shares in VLL at the stock exchange gained 11 centavos or 3.49% to close at P3.26 each on Tuesday. — Denise A. Valdez