Improving buy-to-let mortgage conditions and excellent levels of tenant demand have helped boost landlord optimism for 2011.
Stable interest rates and strong pricing power were also credited with fuelling confidence.
Almost three quarters of landlords surveyed by Paragon Group claimed to be optimistic about the prospects for their portfolios.
The study showed that over half of landlords (54%) were optimistic about tenant demand during the year, with 48% stating that stable interest rates will be a key positive in 2011.
Meanwhile, the ability to increase rents was cited as a major reason to be optimistic by 30% of landlords, whilst landlords were also pleased with the wider availability of buy-to-let mortgage finance (16%) and the easing of mortgage lenders' criteria (13%).
Around four in ten (41%) plan to increase rents during the year, with almost a third (30.7%) intending to raise rents by up to 4% of their current value, and 10% aiming to hike them by between 4% and 8%.
The research also showed that regulation tops the list of concerns for private rented sector landlords for the second year in a row.
Tenant unemployment, falling tenant demand and the introduction of new housing benefit caps were amongst the other concerns highlighted.
"It is clear that confidence is high amongst landlords in the private rented sector," said Nigel Terrington, Paragon Group chief executive.
"They are benefiting from excellent levels of tenant demand, low finance costs and a strong pricing position. The availability of buy-to-let mortgage finance is also easing, albeit somewhat slowly, and we should expect to see landlord transaction levels increase on 2010 levels across the market during the year.
"This cannot come soon enough. Demand for privately rented property far outweighs supply, which is filtering through to rental inflation, and this will only get worse unless the private rented sector starts to expand beyond current levels."
Landlords also claimed they plan to make a range of investments during 2011, with residential property, equities and bonds/gilts all amongst their thoughts, as well as holding cash savings.
On average, landlords expect the base rate to end the year at 1%, up from the current rate of 0.5%.
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