Henley Property Blog – High Flow of Interest in Riverside Properties

henley-riverEach year, Henley draws thousands of guests to its picturesque riverside for the Regatta. With the sun shining, water rippling and drinks flowing, this annual festival is a reminder of the pleasure which can be gleamed from the very British pastime of ‘messing about in boats.’

The Oxford Cambridge boat race and the Henley Regatta retain the status of two of the well-attended British sporting events; a testament to the popularity of river sports in our country. Culturally, riverside jaunts form an important setting for some of our most loved books and films. This year, the BBC is set to start filming a new adaptation of family favourite, Swallows and Amazons, the light-hearted tale of an innocent English summer spent on the water.

A 2012 survey by Savills[1], commissioned at the same time as the Diamond Jubilee flotilla, estimated that properties situated on the banks of the Thames command a 27 percent premium over inland homes. Riverside homes certainly do carry a certain cachet, with the Thames historically representing Britain’s most important thoroughfare and homes on its banks therefore benefiting from a position on the country’s most sought-after ‘street’.

Of course, buyers are also wooed by the leisure opportunities offered by a home on the river. Properties with a private mooring allow for families to keep their own boat within the perimeters of their own home and offer immediate access to the river itself. Boat owners often comment on the friendly nature of the river community, with waterside homes generally benefiting from a strong neighbourly atmosphere, with those passing by on the river always stopping to wave and have a quick chat.

When considering purchasing a riverside property, flooding is, of course, a concern. Always seek expert advice if you have any queries and make sure you are aware of any implications this may have.

It always amazes me how few houses along the river are ever openly marketed for sale, yet with a bit of probing they can often be unearthed. Certainly, most of the riverside houses I buy are never offered on the open market, with high demand for these waterside gems tending to result in quiet sales.

[1] http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/9b661fae-a4f8-11e1-b421-00144feabdc0.html

Helen Rhodes
Partner, Heaton and Partners