The number of mortgage borrowers in arrears and properties repossessed both fell in Q1 2010.
According to the CML, the total proportion of loans with arrears equivalent to 2.5% or more of the mortgage balance was 2.38%. This is down from 2.52% in the previous quarter and 2.81% in Q1 2009.
The number of mortgages in arrears was down from 206,800 at the end of Q1 2009 and 196,400 at the end of last year to 186,300 at the end of Q1 this year.
Repossessions as a proportion of all mortgages remained steady at 0.09% in Q1, the same proportion as the previous quarter and down from 0.12% in Q1 2009.
The number of repossessions was 9,800, down from 10,600 in the previous quarter and 13,200 in Q1 2009.
The drop in arrears was greatest among households with modest default histories. This indicates while low interest rates and stable unemployment have kept new households out of difficulty, borrowers with more entrenched and longer-running issues are still struggling.
Given continued government support, low interest rates and no further economic shocks, the CML says its forecast of 53,000 repossessions for 2010 looks pessimistic, but warns with uncertainty abounding there is no room for complacency.
CML director general Michael Coogan says: "With all eyes on the new government and what steps it will take to address the fiscal deficit, we cannot emphasise too strongly the importance of continuing to fund the support mechanisms that are proving effective in containing mortgage arrears and repossessions.
"We hope and expect to be able to revise down our 53,000 forecast for repossessions in 2010, but we are acutely conscious of the beneficial influence that low interest rates and the package of support have played so far.
"The dampening effects on households and the wider housing market that fiscal tightening is likely to exert are still to be felt, but it should be a key priority to support borrowers most in need and maintain funding for the government's housing policies."
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