The proportion of landlords anticipating that their business will be negatively impacted by the pandemic has fallen to 55% in Q2, down from 81% at the start of the pandemic, according to BM Solutions.
The BM Solutions/BVA BDRC Q2 2021 Landlords Panel study by BVA BDRC was undertaken in partnership with the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA)
The proportion of landlords who anticipate that the pandemic will negatively impact their portfolio has fallen to a new low of 31%.
Confidence among landlords was also found to have increased regarding the private rental sector more broadly, up 18 percentage points to 46% in Q2 2020.
The research found that 29% of landlords have seen tenant demand increase in the last three months.
Landlords with smaller portfolios were significantly more confident about the outlook for their own letting business than landlords with larger numbers of properties, at 53% versus 41%.
Some of this confidence could potentially be reflected by recent void periods now dipping to their lowest level since the start of the pandemic at 12%.
The typical void duration has also declined significantly, down from the Q1 2021 peak of 64 days, to 40 days on average in Q2 2021.
Around 4% of small landlords reported that their rental income has reduced significantly, in comparison to 14% of those operating at the larger end of the market.
Phil Rickards, head of BM Solutions, said: “Landlords with smaller property portfolios in particular are feeling a greater sense of ‘bounceback’ in demand, resulting in a recharged confidence.
“This is evident in the research, as one in five (21%) landlords intend to be active in the buy-to-let property market in the next year, with twice as many intending to invest as opposed to divest (14% versus 7%).
“The sector has faced a raft of challenges recent years with complex legislation and tax changes, but creating greater sustainability through the private rental sector is a positive step which will hopefully bring longer term benefits to landlords and their properties.
“Only around half of landlords with small portfolios claim to have full awareness of the new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) legal requirements.
“However, 39% are planning to carry out work to maximise the long-term value of their portfolio.
“This means there is a big part to play for both lenders and intermediaries in helping to improve understanding of these changes and what they mean for landlords, so that the market can continue to pick up momentum as the country recovers from the impact of the pandemic.”