A total of 10,500 home owners had their property repossessed during the three months to the end of March, 11% fewer than during the previous quarter, according to the Financial Services Authority.
There was a drop in the number of people who fell behind with their mortgage payments during the period. Around 40,500 people got into arrears during the first quarter, 2% fewer than during the previous three months.
The fall contributed to a further improvement in the total number of people who were in mortgage arrears for the third consecutive quarter, with 362,000 behind on their home loan, the equivalent of 3.23% of all mortgage holders.
Repossession levels have remained lower than expected during the economic downturn due to a combination of low interest rates, Government support schemes and increased forbearance by lenders.
The CML had previously forecast that 53,000 people would lose their homes this year; however, it has indicated that this prediction now looks “pessimistic” and is likely to be lower.
The figures from the FSA also showed there had been a steep fall in mortgage advances in the first quarter as activity in the housing market stalled due to a combination of bad weather, the end of the stamp duty holiday and uncertainty caused by the general election. .
Despite signs that lenders were loosening their lending criteria and making more products available for people with small deposits, only 2% of new advances went to people borrowing more than 90% of their home’s value.