Saturday, 31 October 2020

Henley Rotary Club

HENLEY Rotary Club has continued to be busy through this unusual summer.

At the end of June Nigel Hay took over as president from Barry Prior at the end of his year in office.

The meeting was held on the Zoom platform with Nigel suddenly appearing with the presidential collar around his shoulders.

At the recent twilight meeting, the new president introduced the third of the club’s webinars.

As before, the presentation was open to the public and moderator Peter Thomson announced at the start that more than 20 had signed up.

The speaker, Matthew Davis, was introduced by past president Maria Bunina, who pointed out that in addition to his other interests of golfing and mountain biking, he was the current chairman of the Henley 41 Club, the club for past members of the now defunct Henley Round Table.

Matthew is a retired partner of the well-known local estate agency, Davis Tate, which he and his friend and Round Table colleague David Tate set up in 1991.

It now has 13 offices and 80 staff. The pair sold out to LSL Property Services in 2016 but still retained a connection with the business.

Matthew gave a comprehensive review of the property market, showing that since 1987 house prices have risen by more than the Retail Price Index, the FTSE index and commercial property, particularly in London.

His well-researched presentation covered the reasons why people bought or sold a house.

The average time between moves was seven years, although some moved much more quickly and some, like him, stayed much longer. After all, he emphasised, “a house is your home”.

Matthew also spoke about the growth of the rental market and investment landlords, pointing out the advantages and pitfalls of owning and letting your property.

Other subjects covered were office building, the retail sector and planning issues.

Matthew concluded by reiterating that residential property has done well with nice places outperforming the rest.

During questions, someone wondered whether a 10-minute viewing video in the present circumstances for a possible purchaser was sufficient and Matthew pointed out that it was possible for the film to be viewed more than once.

President-elect Mark Harling gave the vote of thanks, urging the speaker to think about joining Henley Rotary Club in addition to his commitment to Henley 41 Club.

Jeremy Gaunt

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