All other key sectors surveyed across the second quarter of the year saw falls in confidence from landlords. (see table below)
The findings are surprising as profitability and yields both remain high; the vast majority (86%) of landlords make a profit from their lettings business.
Almost a third of landlords (31%) generated a full time living from their rental portfolio and more than half (55%) used the income to supplement their day job earnings.
But confidence in short term prospects for their own business and the wider private rental sector both fell 5% (to +36% and +19% respectively) to the lowest levels recorded since the survey began in 2006.
Weak tenant demand
One reason for such pessimism maybe be softening tenant demand with almost one in five landlords (19%) reporting a decline.
BM Solutions head Phil Rickards said: “Landlords are feeling somewhat gloomier in the second quarter and we know some are finding it difficult to adjust to the recent tax changes, which is why those with portfolios of more than 11 are most likely to be looking to decrease the number of properties they own in the next year.
“This quarter the report has also highlighted declining tenant demand and a fall in intentions to raise rents. However, even against this backdrop, along with profitability remaining high, rental yields have edged up from the first quarter to 6%.”