How did the crisis affect the sector, and is it over?
In 2007 the banks made 19.6 billion euros in real estate loans. In 2012 they made 1.6 billion – a 92% drop. Last year, credit to real estate was 2.1 billion euros – a 30% increase. I’ve talked to more investors since January than in the last three years put together. It’s time to get into the boat because the tide is going to go up.
Does SIL work with Portuguese or foreign investors?
Portuguese investors are still licking their wounds. The investors I’m talking to are generally from abroad. They want to buy now and in five years will make a profit. We have very good land at very good prices. We get projects approved, which in Portugal is a long process.
What are your ongoing projects?
We have a project on the river facing Porto, with 32,000m2 of residential. In Monte Verde, 18km from Lisbon, we have a 100 ha property to build a golf course and 360 units (55,000m2 above ground). We have a project in Lisbon to build 34,000m2 office and 38,000m2 residential. Finally, between Lisbon and Cascais at Cruz Quebrada near the national stadium, we will build 102,000 m2 and a marina. These projects all have approval. They will probably be ready in 2017. At Monte Verde, we are going to start to build in September.
Are you seeking partners?
Yes, for Cruz Quebrada. The land is worth about 90 million euros and sales should reach 400 to 450 million. It is the best project of my life. Whoever invests should at least double his money in five years. I welcome the Chinese with open arms. The crisis allowed important corrections in Portugal. It’s the right time to invest.