The national commercial vacancy rate has risen to 13.3% in Q2 2019, an increase of 0.2 percentage points (pp) on Q2 2018, according to the latest GeoView Commercial Vacancy Rates Report published by GeoDirectory. The report, prepared by EY-DKM Economic Advisory Services, found that just over 28,000 commercial units were vacant across the country.
The east-west divide in terms of commercial activity shows no sign of slowing down, with the highest commercial vacancy rates occurring in Connacht. Sligo is the county with the highest vacancy rate at 18.9%, followed by Leitrim (16.7%), Roscommon (16.3%), Mayo (16.3%) and Galway (16.2%). Meath was the county with the lowest vacancy rate at 10.1%, followed by Kerry (10.6%) Wexford (10.9%) and Westmeath (11.6%).
Worryingly, 18 counties recorded an increase in vacancy rates in Q2 2019, while 15 counties had higher rates than the national average of 13.3%. The largest percentage point increase in commercial vacancies occurred in Leitrim and Roscommon, rising by 1.1pp and 0.9pp respectively. Laois recorded the highest decrease, with the vacancy rate falling by 0.9pp.
In the capital, the average commercial vacancy rate was 12.1%, unchanged from the same period in 2018. However, vacancy rates fluctuate considerably depending on Dublin postcode. The area with the lowest vacancy rate in the county was Dublin 16 at 6.9%, while Dublin 8 recorded the highest vacancy rate in the capital at 15.4%, well above the national average. Unsurprisingly, Dublin leads the way in total commercial address points, accounting for 23.6% of the national total. When the remaining counties in Leinster are included, the province contains 49.5% of the national commercial stock.
Edenderry, Co. Offaly is the town with the highest commercial vacancy rate in the country at 28.8%, an increase of 3.1pp on the same time last year. Ballybofey, Co. Donegal (28%) and Kilrush, Co. Clare (26.5%) also posted high vacancy rates. Greystones in Co. Wicklow posted the lowest commercial vacancy rate in the country at 5.8%.
Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine