Luis Horta e Costa is co-founder and Managing Partner of Square View Property Development Capital. Founding the property development firm was the capstone of Costa’s extensive career in real estate investment. He began at ICPE and helped initiate and coordinate the first real estate investments by a Portuguese company outside of Portugal. He was then responsible for investment strategy, credit and financial analysis. He launched Square View, investing a lot. Over the past years, it has completed several projects in Europe, USA and China with an aggregate portfolio value. Luis Horta e Costa earned a BSc in Marketing from Universidade Catolica Portuguesa and an MBA from the Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão (ISEG).
What attracted you to real estate?
My father was an entrepreneur, and my grandfathers were both developers. So I have been around building projects since I was young. I like taking risks, and real estate is easy to take because it’s not like banking.
How did you get involved in it?
I was in business school when I got a call from my father to join them in the family business. I was doing an MSc at the time, and after two years, I wanted to do something different, so I opted to join them in real estate.
How do you see the expansion of real estate in Portugal?
It is growing fast. It used to be a trading business, but now the investment trend is becoming more predominant. In Lisbon, the market behaves well compared with other European cities. We are not very dependent on foreign visitors because we have lots to offer our own population. Still, over time that may change, which is why we need to maintain a certain level of attractiveness for foreign investors. The Portuguese people like to travel, and they will come.
Does it take more effort to find a good location, or can you rely on instinct?
It is important to have the right people in place. We have a good network here to identify appropriate locations for investment. The hardest part is leasing the land from landowners who want to be paid.
What is the special character of a Portuguese city?
Portugal is a very old country. We are very close to our history and have many interesting monuments, castles and churches. Also, we have many old streets and buildings, so it’s important to recreate that spirit in the new developments. Lisbon is a great city with a vibrant art and culture scene, so you can’t escape that.