Category Archives: Richard Butler-Creagh

Richard Butler-Creagh & Henley Finance Ltd

Richard Butler-Creagh has been in the bridging lending business for many years. He became involved with this sector through his experiences in buying and selling his own properties. He soon realized that the most important part of this process was to be able to have the availability of good financing.

 

“This was always the most difficult part of the process. After being frustrated by the high street banks who found it difficult to turn things around quickly, I soon ended up using bridging lenders myself.”

Richard Butler-Creagh, 2017

 

He came to the conclusion that this was a business that he understood and that from a successful few years in buying and renovating buildings with his own team – to building up a rental portfolio of properties in London, he found that, not only could he value the properties very easily, he could also estimate any building works that needed to be carried out. After a lot of consideration, he set out to form his own bridging company.

 

Nowadays this is in the form of Henley Finance Ltd. It provides fast lending facilities and has a proven track record for efficiency in carrying out the due diligence process which is the most important factor from a legal point of view. Once the potential Borrower’s identity is established, not only does Butler-Creagh and his team look over the proposal but have their own experts including, planning consultants, solicitors, surveyors etc. available to ensure that the project that is being financed, runs smoothly. This is monitored throughout the duration of the project.

 

One of the key features that Richard Butler-Creagh has built the company on is the repeat business. At Henley Finance Ltd costs are kept as low as possible in the belief that if their borrowers make money, they return with more projects to fund. As a result, they have never advertised and all business is from word of mouth.

 

Richard Butler-Creagh

My Parallel Universe: Life after the Fawley Court Case

Newspaper articles say that I tried to ‘squeeze’ a £5M fee from the sale of Fawley Court, Henley on Thames. In reality, Aida Hersham, the person at the centre of all this, approached me to purchase the property.

I had never met this woman before. She offered me the £5M fee in return for taking over my contract.   See attached the two emails that she sent me and admitted in court that she sent to me. Attached is also the signed letter that she later denied giving me, even though it was found on her computer and it was found to be printed off. When I was introduced to her, I agreed to let her take over my contract on the basis that she would give me this fee. When she did not keep her word, I started proceedings against her in the High Court.

It is said that I ‘misrepresented’ the sale price, which was, in fact nothing to do with me as I was not selling the property anyway, (the Marian Fathers were the sellers). One month before completion, Savills had valued Fawley Court for mortgage purposes on behalf of Credit Suisse for £24M. The property eventually sold for £13M. I have attached the Savills/Credit Suisse valuation (page 38 for the figures). Yet in court, her expert witness only valued it at £9M and the judge ignored the Savills:Credit Suisse Valuation then he ordered I pay the difference.

The judge said that I told ‘lie after lie’ because in my witness statement I said that I, personally had previously used the Bank of Ireland for development finance, when it was my company that used the bank for development finance. This was my company and I was 100% shareholder. The fact that I said ‘I, personally’ rather than ‘through my company’; the judge found unacceptable.

The whole sixteen months I worked with her, making sure that the sale went through, I took no salary.  I believed that she would keep her end of the bargain with the three bits of correspondence she had given me.  She seemed an astute business woman, after being married to estate agent and TV star Gary Hersham for twenty years, yet she claimed in court that she had not been involved in business and she was ‘just a Jewish mother’ – her words not mine.

Three years since the trial it still feels like I am living in a parallel universe, with no ‘right to be forgotten’ because a high court judge had all this evidence and found that there was no agreement between us.  The money is no longer a concern to me and I would gladly give it straight to a worthy cause, I just would like to make sure that if this story has to be remembered, then it is with my side of it.

Richard Butler Creagh, Henley on Thames, Richard Butler-Creagh

Short-term deflation is welcome relief

by Richard Butler-Creagh

With food prices dropping at the quickest rate in eight years in January, combined with further falls in the price of vehicle fuels, consumer price inflation is likely to move to a new record low in January, edging the UK economy closer to deflation, as such it looks increasingly unlikely the Bank of England will raise the base rate in 2015.  The Centre for Economics and Business Research said: “The headline rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, fell to just 0.5% in December.”  This is welcome news after the last couple of years of steep inflation, as high as 10% when taking into account the steep rise of fuel and food, according to some indicators.  Savers have been worse off with the inflation eroding their accounts and making their hard-earned worth less by the low interest rate.

There are other indicators that the slow-down is slowing down.  Banks are cautiously making funds more available to borrowers.    Barclays have shuffled into the lead enticing buyers wanting to fix for five years, with deals starting at 2.29%, a cut of 0.1% from a week ago.  First Direct has also shaved 0.2% off its five-year deal with a 2.59% fix until 2020.  As usual these are for lenders with large deposits, normally 30% or more, but it is all suggesting that the market is heading for an increase in activity.  When choosing a lender based on these 0.1 or 0.2% differences, remember to blends in the arrangement fees as they can alter the overall rate.

House prices still managed to increase last month with figures from Halifax showing that it jumped an incredible 2% taking the average to £193,130.  This could be due to the reform of stamp duty producing a temporary wave, a spokesman said.

Richard Butler-Creagh

Property bubble

One of the largest house-builders in Britain recently dismissed fears of a housing bubble as it reported booming demand for its new homes.  The House builders revenues jumped 21% last year after it sold nearly 12,000 homes and that is with sales 30% higher in the second half than the first. One of the rival companies also have record profits for the six months to the end of December so it seems that the industry is starting the new year in a really bullish mood.  all this came as figures from the mortgage lender, Halifax, showed house prices had dipped 0.6% in December but are still 7.5% higher than a year ago.

The whole of the housing market has had a remarkable recovery after many years of stagnation boosted by increased mortgage lending and assistance from the state-backed schemes such as Help to Buy.  Many people think that the revival has fuelled a housing bubble and this has caused the Bank of England to scale back the funding for lending scheme so it no longer applies to mortgages.

Some of the large house builders say they don’t think there is a bubble, they say they cover the whole of the country and think the pricing is stable across the board.

I think the main thing is that if wages increase inline with house prices there should not be a bubble, but as we know this is not the case so people buying property when interest rates are at record lows, it would not take much of an increase to make things very difficult for a lot of new home owners who are pushing themselves to all time highs in prices. One thing is for sure interest rates can only go one way at the moment, so as I have said in the past it is a good time to fix a good rate with your lender.

Richard Butler-Creagh