A RECENT survey revealed that Henley is top of the tops for London’s multi-millionaires. And locals
A RECENT survey revealed that Henley is top of the tops for London’s multi-millionaires. And locals already know the many reasons why, says LUCY BOON
EARLIER this summer a survey by New World Wealth — a company that provides information on how the international elite spend their money — named Henley the number one property hotspot in the whole of the UK for the super-rich to own a second home, with Shiplake and Sonning in the top 10.
The survey showed a large number of London’s multi-millionaires — defined as individuals with a net worth in excess of US$10 million — own second homes in the UK, and our home town is the number one address where they buy more homes than any other.
Nearby Marlow, Bray, Windsor and Cookham also made it into the top 10, proving the enduring appeal of the Thames Valley area.
“Wealthy people like to have a home on or near water,” says Andrew Amolis, head of research at New World Wealth. “Our list captures their need to be within commuting distance of London, near good schools, Heathrow and fine restaurants.”
One agent who knows the truth of this only too well is Stephen Christie-Miller, head of the Henley branch of Savills in Bell Street.
He said: “The river is important, and there is obviously a premium on river-front properties, but it is only one of a number of reasons why Henley has been able to punch above its weight.”
The survey also showed properties in our town are also popular with wealthy Londoners buying their eventual retirement homes. They typically purchase them several years before they retire, in the meantime letting them out on the rental market.
Stephen continues: “For a town with a population of approximately 10,000, there is a huge amount to do in and around Henley.
“Central to life here is, of course, the Thames, hosting both the internationally acclaimed Henley Royal Regatta, Henley Town and Visitors’ Regatta, the Thames Traditional Boat Festival, the Henley Festival and the Rewind music festival — each of them adjacent to the Thames.
“In addition, Henley benefits from a weekly farmers’ market which sometimes includes stallholders from around Europe — including France, Italy and Germany. There is a literary festival with over 500 different events for all different ages and interests. There is a food festival and an international film festival. In terms of more day-to-day activities, Henley has a three-screen cinema and a theatre.
“Communications are excellent — during the morning and evening rush hour there are two direct trains to and from Paddington, taking approximately 40 minutes. Trains for the rest of the day change at Twyford and are slower, but with the imminent arrival of Crossrail, this service can only improve.
“Heathrow is half an hour’s drive away, as is the M25, and leaving Henley, there is the choice of the M40 or M4, creating easy access to the North and South West, and providing a choice of route into central London, depending which is the least congested.
“Surrounding Henley is some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK, often likened to the middle of Devon yet so very accessible, especially from London.
“The area benefits from a wonderful selection of architecture, from the very old to the latest in contemporary design, giving buyers an excellent choice to suit their tastes and budgets.”
This is the Henley Standard, Stephen... you’re preaching to the converted!
PARK PLACE FARM, REMENHAM HILL, REMENHAM
Guide Price: £3,450,000
Agency: Knight Frank (01491) 844900
THIS fabulous house, set within the local Park Place estate, offers a mixture of conventional accommodation over ground and first floors with the added salient feature of a converted barn, which offers guest accommodation and a spacious open-plan entertaining room.
The family that lives here have been at Park Place Farm for more than 20 years and are moving within the estate.
Guide Price: £2,000,000
Agency: KNIGHT FRANK (01491) 844900
BUILT by the current owners two years ago, this stylish new build property is immaculately presented throughout with contemporary styling and offers flexible family living.
There are five bedrooms, four reception rooms, four bathrooms and secondary accommodation.
YEWDEN LODGE, HAMBLEDEN
Guide price £4,650,000
Agency: Savills (01491) 843001
THIS eight-bedroom house is the former home of late rock legend Jon Lord of Deep Purple and Whitesnake.
Yewden Lodge is situated on the site of a former Roman settlement, so there’s history of all kinds with this property.
The rooms are spacious, there are beautiful ornate ceilings and there are plenty of things to keep you busy such as a vegetable garden, a swimming pool and a tennis court.
The late George Harrison was a frequent visitor here and he named the drawing room fireplace “Stilton” thanks to the blue veined marble it’s made from.
Swains House, Turville Heath
Guide price: £5,750,000
Agency: Savills (01491) 843001
THIS six-bedroom, six-bathroom house comes with five acres and beautiful views over the Turville/Hambleden valley conservation area and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
As you can tell from the photos, this has been a very happy family home. The vendor told Standard Property: “We moved in a year after we got married in 1998 and have spent a very happy 18 years here, only moving out once for six months while we had the electrics and plumbing updated during some building works.”
There’s a games room, media room, vaulted drawing room, kitchen/breakfast room, family room, study, cellar, separate one-bedroom flat (above garage) with its own living room/kitchen and bathroom, walled garden with swimming pool and pool house with sauna, and so much more including a paddock with planning permission to create a new tree-lined avenue driveway. “We will definitely miss the peace and quiet,” added the vendor. “Also the amazing space inside the house, as we regularly had 30 people for lunch or staying with us at Christmastime — and of course the wonderful views. Even on bad weather days it still takes your breath away.”
New Year was also a special time for the family, especially when the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was shown on TV. “Because from the back of the house you can see the windmill at Turville — the one from the film — we used to get at least two or three people turning up at Swains over the festive season, asking where the windmill was. People still seem fascinated by the windmill itself and also the area the film was filmed in.”
Now the vendors’ children are away at boarding school, they’ve decided to relocate to be a lot closer to them.
All in all this stunning property is well worth a look if you’re a multi-millionaire.