Estate agents reported that five house hunters were registered with them for every property they had on their books last month.
But the high level of demand is failing to translate into increased sales, with estate agents selling an average of 7.7 properties each, down from 8.5 in September.
The number of buyers also dipped slightly to 287, down from 294 in September. But it remains a significant increase on the 196 house hunters for the same month last year, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).
The heightened demand is a result of fewer properties on the market, with estate agents reporting that the average number of properties available for sale per branch dropped from 62 in September to 57 in October.
Melanie Bien, of mortgage brokers Savills Private Finance, said: ‘Family homes are in particularly short supply and prices are being sustained because of the demand for each property that comes onto the market.
‘Until more properties become available and finance is more readily accessible to those with small deposits, the number of transactions will remain woefully low.’