Commerical vacancy rates increase sharply in Offaly

Edenderry has highest vacancy rate in the country

Damian Moran

Reporter:

Damian Moran

Email:

damian@offalyexpress.ie

Commerical vacancy rates increase sharply in Offaly

Commercial Vacancy rates in Offaly have spiked in Offaly increasing by 2% from Quarter 4 2015 to Quarter 4 2016.

That increase is the third highest in the country behind only Tipperary (2.2%) and Mayo (2.1%).

An analysis of 101 locations, including 79 towns across the four provinces plus 22 Dublin districts, found that Edenderry had the highest vacancy rate (31%).

The increase means that Offaly now has the eighth highest Commercial Vacancy rate in the country at 14.7%. Sligo has the highest rate at 18% with Leitrim second at 16.4% and Donegal and Mayo both at 15.6%.

Kerry has the lowest vacancy rate at 10.2% with Westmeath just ahead at 10.5%.

The figures come from research published by GeoDirectory. The GeoDirectory database shows there were 213,666 commercial address points in Ireland with 28,796 of those properties lying vacant. The data indicates a substantial unused commercial building stock not just across the country but also in Dublin.
 
The new research is from the Q4 2016 edition of GeoView which is published twice a year. It is the twelfth in the series but the fourth year-end review of commercial vacancy rates in Ireland that not only provides national data but also analyses the data by province, county and town, and across a broad range of sectors in the Irish economy.
 
One key finding from the analysis is that counties on the west coast of Ireland tended to perform less well than their eastern counterparts, with Sligo (18%), Leitrim (16.4%), Donegal, Mayo (15.6% each), Galway (15.4%) and Limerick (15.3%) having the six highest vacancy rates in the country. This split is again evident when looking at a provincial level, Connacht, at 15.7%, had the highest vacancy rate of any province, while Leinster (excluding Dublin), had a vacancy rate of 12.5%.  Munster also recorded a vacancy rate below the national average at 12.9%, while Ulster and Dublin recorded overall vacancy rates of 14% and 13.7 % respectively.
 
In the last year, commercial vacancy rates increased in 25 out of the 26 counties. Limerick was the only county that retained the same vacancy rate as Q4 2015, albeit still at a notably high 15.3%.

GeoView also gives readers a breakdown of the occupied commercial stock by sector, using NACE codes. Services was the most popular sector, accounting for 81,743 of the total 172,764 properties allocated a NACE code. The Distribution sector had the next highest number of commercial address points with a NACE code, accounting for 24.4% of the total.
 
Commenting on the findings, Dara Keogh, CEO, GeoDirectory said, “In this edition of GeoView, we’re seeing the divide between the commercial success in the east and west growing. The six counties with the highest vacancy rates are on the west coast. Our figures reinforce the theory that we have a recovery that is somewhat skewed with the west of Ireland falling behind the rest of the country. Even within Dublin, which is ahead of most other counties, we have a vacancy rate of 19.2% in Dublin 17, well above the county and national averages.”
 
Annette Hughes, Director of DKM Economic Consultants said: “We have now completed our fourth comprehensive year-end report on the commercial building stock in Ireland. This report is very timely, with its analysis of 79 regional towns, and following the recent launches of the public consultation on the National Planning Framework for Ireland and the Plan for Rural Development, it shows the areas most in need of support, given the high vacancy rates recorded. Moreover, despite evidence from property agents which indicates that there is a strong recovery underway in the Dublin commercial property market in terms of transactions activity and new space under construction, commercial vacancy rates across Dublin in Q4 2016, according to GeoView, were mostly in double digits. This suggests there is still substantial unused commercial building stock not just across the country but also in Dublin.”

The GeoView Commercial Premises Vacancy Report, tracking commercial vacancy rates nationally and by county, is published twice a year by GeoDirectory and DKM Economic Consultants. It can be found at www.geodirectory.ie.