I've been shopping for a home in Alberta and I've noticed a small town of approximately 240 homes, where about 12 of those are currently on the market. That's 5% of the homes currently up for sale. Is there a name for this ratio?

That seems quite high to me. Does it indicate economic difficulties for the town? Would it be a bad idea or a good idea to buy here?

2 Answers 2


They say people move on average once every 7 years. If homes took a year to sell, you'd expect to see about 14% for sale. Sales don't take a year, if time to sell dropped to 4 months, we'd be at just about 5%.

From an article by Credit Sesame -

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A couple points to note, the article shows that while I was close for years 2001-8, the number has shifted up a bit. Also, the article was US based. Last, I'm responding to Mindwin's comment, citing this source, but, if a certain candidate wins our presidential election, "people are saying" will negate any need for citations. At least for the next four years.

  • Sounds logical, but you could also consider these numbers: in neighboring city of Calgary there are roughly 280,000 detached homes and only about 1500 are on the market at any time. That's around 0.5% which is a lot less than 5%. Now, maybe that's like comparing apples to oranges, I just don't know.
    – Octopus
    Nov 4, 2016 at 2:13
  • Hey Joe, can you cite some sources for your numbers? Ya know, just to improve answer quality and those stuff stack likes. XD Nov 4, 2016 at 14:04

People are constantly moving. Into and out of locations, and even within an area. Five percent on the market does not shock me, no matter what the location.

Sounds like a fairly stable town, but that one statistic does not say anything about the town's economic status, or whether it is a good market.

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