A total of 8,000 properties were repossessed in the first quarter of 2013, down from 9,600 a year earlier, according to the latest figures.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) revealed that around 20% of those taken into possession in the three months to 31 March were buy-to-let rather than owner-occupier properties.
The rate of repossession in the period remained at 0.07% for the fourth consecutive quarter, which is the equivalent of fewer than one in 1,400 mortgaged properties being taken into possession by lenders each quarter.
The number of mortgages in arrears has also remained stable, with 159,800 mortgages in arrears equivalent to 2.5% or more of the mortgage balance at the end of the first quarter.
Within that, 82,600 mortgages had arrears of 2.5% or more but less than 5% of the mortgage balance, while 30,300 had arrears which represented 10% or more of the balance.
Paul Smee, director general at the CML, said: “Mortgage arrears and repossessions have stabilised at levels lower than many anticipated when the economic downturn started.
“Low interest rates, continuing employment, lender forbearance and tactical public policy support have combined to ensure that repossession really is a last resort.”
In its most recent forecast for 2013, the CML anticipated that there would be a total of 35,000 repossessions this year, with 160,000 mortgages in arrears of 2.5% or more at the end of the year.
The CML represents around 95% of all residential mortgage lending in the UK.