Commercial vacancy rates in Offaly have decreased, from 13.2% in Q4 2014 to 12.7% in Q4 2015, according to research published by GeoDirectory.
By Damian Moran
Offaly recorded the third largest decrease in vacancy at 0.5pp.
The total number of occupied commercial premises in Ireland increased throughout 2015 from 194,642 in Q4 2014 to 195,803 in Q4 2015.
The new research is from the Q4 2015 edition of GeoView which is published twice a year. It is the third annual review of commercial vacancy rates in Ireland that not only provides national data but also analyses the data by quarter, by county, by province and across a broad range of sectors in the Irish economy.
The review found that the national average commercial vacancy rate in Q4 2015 was 12.6%. This figure represents a decrease in commercial vacancy of 0.2 percentage points since Q4 2014. 16 counties recorded a decrease in commercial vacancy rates between Q4 2014 and Q4 2015. Kerry recorded the lowest vacancy rate of any county in Q4 2015 at 9.2%. Sligo recorded the highest commercial vacancy rate of any county in Q4 2015 at 16.4%. Both counties held the same rankings in Q4 2014.
The commercial vacancy rate declined in 16 counties during 2015 – 10 of those were in Leinster and three were in Munster. However a number of counties in Connaught and Ulster have yet to recover and are still showing an increase in vacancy rates.
The average commercial vacancy in Ulster increased from 12.5% in Q4 2014 to 12.7% in Q4 2015, while the vacancy rate in Connacht went from 14.7% in Q4 2014 to 14.8% in Q4 2015. Both Munster (11.9%) and Leinster (12.4%) saw a decrease of 0.2 percentage points each between Q4 2014 and Q4 2015. Leinster’s commercial vacancy rate was unchanged from Q2 2015 with just 2 counties, Wexford (10.1%) and Wicklow (12.5%), recording increases over the year.
The data was published by GeoDirectory which was jointly established by An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) to create and manage Ireland’s only complete database of commercial and residential buildings. These figures are recorded through a combination of the An Post network of 5,600 delivery staff working with Osi.
According to Q4 2015 figures, there were 224,003 commercial properties in Ireland, 28,200 of which were vacant. The largest percentage point increase was seen in Leitrim where the vacancy rate increased by 0.6pp to 16.1% between Q4 2014 and Q4 2015. Conversely, the largest decrease was seen in Carlow where the vacancy rate fell by 1.2pp to 11.9%.
Both Cavan (11%) and Tipperary (11.9%) showed the same vacancy rate in both Q4 2014 and Q4 2015.
At 49,809 Dublin had the largest number of unique commercial address points followed by Cork (25,627) and Galway (12,877). In 2015, Leitrim, Longford and Carlow had the lowest number of commercial address points with less than 3,000 units in each county, as was the case throughout 2013 and 2014.
GeoView also gives readers a breakdown of the occupied commercial stock by sector, using NACE codes. Services was the most popular sector with 84,449 of the total 180,467 properties allocated a NACE code. The Distribution sector had the next highest number of commercial address points, accounting for 23.9% of the total.
Commenting on the findings, Dara Keogh, CEO, GeoDirectory said, “The trends we saw throughout 2013 and 2014 seem to have shifted. Where in the past we saw vacancy rates increasing at varying rates, we are now seeing falling vacancy rates in many parts of the country. Connacht and Ulster still seem to be struggling, however there are strong signs of a recovery with just eight counties across the country showing an increase in commercial vacancy rates year on year.”
Annette Hughes, Director of DKM Economic Consultants said, “We have now completed our third comprehensive annual report on the commercial building stock in Ireland. The GeoView reports provide a unique view of the geographical spread of commercial building stock and corresponding vacancy rates in Ireland over the three years 2013-2015.”
The GeoView Commercial Premises Vacancy Report is published twice a year by GeoDirectory and DKM Economic Consultants, tracking commercial vacancy rates nationally and by county. A copy of the GeoView Commercial Premises Vacancy is attached in PDF format.