Commercial vacancy rate hits 14.1% – highest on record

September 8, 2023

There were 29,798 vacant commercial units recorded across the country between April and June.

There were 29,798 vacant commercial units recorded across the country between April and June.

By Gill Stedman

The commercial vacancy rate in Ireland has hit 14.1%, the highest level since GeoDirectory started recording the data ten years ago.

GeoDirectory is Ireland’s official complete database of commercial and residential buildings.

The rate increased by 0.2 percentage points in the twelve months to June.

There were 29,798 vacant commercial units recorded across the country between April and June, a rise of 557 when compared to last year.

“Businesses are clearly still struggling with the increasing costs of doing business in regard to energy costs and food inflation,” said Dara Keogh, Chief Executive of GeoDirectory.

“An additional challenge this year has been interest rate increases which are generating some pressures for commercial owner occupiers and tenants,” he added.

The report which was prepared by EY Ireland, found that commercial vacancy rates increased in 20 out of 26 counties.

At just under 20%, Sligo was the county with the highest commercial vacancy rate, followed by Galway at 18%, Donegal at 17.9%, Mayo at 17.3% and Roscommon at 16.9%.

The county with the lowest commercial vacancy rate was Meath at 10.2%, followed by Wexford at 10.6% and Kerry at 12.2%.

The commercial vacancy level in Dublin increased by 0.5 percentage points to 13.1% in the second quarter of the year.

This trend continued in the Greater Dublin Area where vacancy rates increased from 12.6% in the second quarter of last year to 13% during the same period this year.

Galway recorded the largest increase in vacancy rates, increasing by 0.8 percentage points from 17.2% in in the second quarter of 2022 to 18.0% this year.

All four provinces in Ireland reported an increase in overall vacancy rates, with Connacht having the highest rate at 17.9%

“After several years of strong construction activity in the commercial sector, the increases we are seeing in commercial vacancy are to an extent unsurprising, with trends such as working from home, sustainability and energy efficiency likely having some impact,” said Annette Hughes, Director, EY Economic Advisory .

“While there have been increases in the cost of doing business for some companies, the overall Irish economy remains in a good position, with further growth and increases in the numbers employed forecast,” she added.

As part of today’s report, GeoDirectory also examined the commercial vacancy rates across a sample of 80 towns across the country in June.

It found that Ballybofey, Co Donegal, remained the town with the highest commercial vacancy rate in Ireland at just under 30%.

Shannon, Co Clare and Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, recorded the second and third highest commercial vacancy rates in the country at 29.4% and 29.2% respectively, followed by Boyle, Co Roscommon at 27.6% and Sligo Town at 25.4%.

Greystones, Co Wicklow now has the lowest vacancy rate in the country at 6.8%.

Carrigaline, Co Cork had the second lowest vacancy rate at 7.5%, followed by Gorey, Co Wexford at 9.3%.

Today’s report highlights the importance of the services sector to the economy.

Although this sector had the largest reduction in the number of commercial units since the second quarter of last year, it still held the highest share, accounting for just under 50% of the total commercial sites across the country.

Within the services sector, the accommodation and food services sector accounted for over 14% of all commercial address points in Ireland in June 2023.

Retail and wholesale remained the second-largest sector in terms of occupied commercial premises.

Article Source: Commercial vacancy rate hits 14.1% – highest on record – Gill Stedman – RTE

Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000

Related News