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upad CEO predicts a potential increase of 25 percent in people choosing to rent in 2009

Renting a home in the UK will no longer be a taboo in 2009, according to James Davis, founder and CEO of online property rental website, www.upad.co.uk.

He predicts that the UK property market is heading towards the European model where it is commonplace for people to rent, as opposed to buy somewhere to live.

Davis sees various factors contributing to this trend:

• He believes that the UK will see interest rates fall still further than the 57-year low of 4 December 2008.
• Rents will also stabilise (having fallen eight percent in the past year).
• And, he thinks that house prices will continue to fall, potentially by another 15 percent.

Despite this drop, Davis predicts that house prices will still be high enough to prohibit most first time buyers from getting onto the property ladder. This will be reinforced by the uncertain employment market, making people unwilling to commit to taking out mortgages.

However, explaining that the market will actually work in favour of both tenants and landlords, Davis commented:

“Falling house prices will make it a good time for landlords who have been in the market for a while. Those who have built up real equity are now in the enviable position of being able to buy stock at reduced prices. And, this time around loan to values should be far more manageable.

“And, I believe that stabilising rents will give them a much better return on investment than they have witnessed in recent years.”

As a result, Davis believes there will be a significant increase in the number of rental properties available, potentially increasing by 25 percent to over four million. He added:

“By giving tenants greater choice, this will work towards renting being a norm, as opposed to a taboo.

“I predict that today's market conditions will improve the currently tarnished reputation of the buy-to-let sector and make it a viable option in the UK.”

-Ends-

Notes to editors:

upad (www.upad.co.uk) is a new online service that connects renters to landlords to help them find their ideal property quickly and easily. Launched in October 2008 under the banner 'reinventing renting', the company's innovative approach is aimed at filling a gap in the property rental market.

upad's website deploys bespoke state-of-the-art technology to overcome issues identified by renters such as out-of-date information and poor online experiences. In particular upad enables online searches that are interactive and intuitive to produce relevant properties.

With over 80,000 rental properties available in London, upad will continue to add to this portfolio in order to offer the largest choice of homes to rent in the capital. The service will be rolled out across other major UK cities in the next few months.

Free to renters, upad costs landlords £59 per listing (with an initial half-price introductory offer for properties registered before 31st December 2008).

For further information and interviews, please contact:

Katrina Suppiah/Kate Alexander, Publicité
Tel: + 44 (0)20 8543 6582/+44 (0)20 8543 8481/+44 (0)7809 028711
Email: k.suppiah@publicite.co.uk/k.alexander@publicite.co.uk

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