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National Commercial Vacancy rate rises to 13.1%

Commercial vacancy rates in Ireland have increased, from 12.6% in Q2 2015 to 13.1% in Q2 2016 according to new research published by GeoDirectory. 28,615 of the 219,176 commercial address points in Ireland were vacant.

The new research, from the Q2 2016 edition of GeoView, shows that the highest vacancy rate of any county in Ireland was recorded in Sligo at 16.8%, followed by Leitrim at 16.3%, and Galway and Limerick, both at 15.3%. Kerry, which has consistently had a low vacancy rate over the past number of years, again had the lowest commercial vacancy rate at 9.4%, the only county with a vacancy rate in single digits.

The largest increase in commercial vacancy rate was seen in County Offaly with vacancy rates increasing from 12.7% in Q2 2015 up to 14.7% in Q2 2016. Longford saw the largest move in the other direction with the vacancy rate decreasing from 13.2% to 12.9% in the same period.

GeoDirectory have conducted an analysis of 101 locations, including 79 towns across the four provinces plus 22 Dublin postcodes. Ballybofey in Donegal retains its position as the town with the highest vacancy rate, at 31.3%. Second on the list was Edenderry (County Offaly), with a vacancy rate of 31%, a large increase of 8.5 percentage points since this time last year. Of the towns with the highest 15 vacancy rates, Tubbercurry (County Sligo) has moved up the most positions on the list from 27th to 12th, with its vacancy rate increasing 2.9 percentage points to 20.5%. Of the towns analysed, Greystones (County Wicklow) had the lowest vacancy rate at 4.5%.

Surprisingly a very high vacancy rate has been found in Dublin City Centre with 18.5% in Dublin 2 and 14.9% in Dublin 1. As a shortage of office space has been reported by estate agents in recent months, the reported vacancy rate would suggest there may be premises on floors above retail or office space lying empty. 11 of the Dublin districts show a vacancy rate above the national average.

At a provincial level, Connaught saw the highest average vacancy rate of the provinces at 15.2% in Q2 2016. Leinster (excluding Dublin) had an average vacancy rate of 12%, down 0.4 percentage points since Q2 2015, possibly an indication that the economic recovery to date has been more prevalent in the east than in the north west of the country.

The report also gives a more detailed analysis of the GeoDirectory database by examining the breakdown of address points by sector of economic activity, using NACE codes. 176,119 commercial address points have been allocated a NACE code. Almost one-half of the total commercial address points are businesses in the services sector, a total of 83,512 properties.

The GeoView Commercial Premises Vacancy Report is published by GeoDirectory and DKM Economic Consultants, tracking commercial vacancy rates nationally and by county.

Research published by GeoDirectory