More than a quarter of all shops in Offaly town unoccupied
The commercial vacancy rate in one Offaly town is the second-highest in the country, according to the latest GeoView Commercial Vacancy Rates Report commissioned by GeoDirectory and prepared by EY Economic Advisory.
Edenderry's commercial vacancy rate stands at 27.7%, meaning that more than a quarter of all commercial units in the town are lying unoccupied.
The commercial vacancy rate in Offaly as a whole decreased to 15.4%, representing a decrease of 0.3 percentage points (ppts) on the corresponding rate in June 2020.
This rate was higher than the national average of 13.6%.
18 counties recorded an increase in commercial vacancy rates between June 2020 and June 2021, with Kildare, at +1.0ppt, registering the sharpest rise in vacancy rates. Vacancy rates declined in six counties with Laois recording the largest decrease at 0.9ppt over the same period.
The report found that the lowest provincial commercial vacancy rate in the country was in Leinster with an average vacancy rate of 12.7%. At 10.3% each, Meath and Wexford were the counties with the lowest commercial vacancy rates in the province and country.
Of the towns in Offaly sampled, Edenderry (27.7%) had the highest commercial vacancy rate, while Birr (15.5%) had the lowest
In Dublin, the commercial vacancy rate remained unchanged at 12.2% from June 2020, albeit with varying vacancy rates across the Dublin postcodes. At 6.5%, Dublin 15 recorded the lowest commercial vacancy rate in the capital, while Dublin 9 had the highest rate at 16.4%.
The commercial vacancy rate in Munster (13.5%) was just below the national average, with a vacancy rate of 12.2% recorded in Cork.
The highest commercial vacancy rates were found in the Connacht region, where the provincial vacancy rate stood at 17.2%. The four counties with the highest commercial vacancy rates in the country were all located in Connacht, namely Sligo (20.0%), Roscommon (17.3%), Leitrim (17.2%) and Mayo (17.0%).
Using NACE codes to classify economic sectors, the GeoView Commercial Vacancy Rates Report identifies the use of the commercial units. Of the total 182,908 occupied address points, 87.5% or 160,016 are allocated to a business sector.
The data found that in Q2 2021, there were 1,931 fewer premises operating in Retail and Wholesale representing a drop of 5.4% compared to Q2 2020. There was also a notable drop in the number of units in the Services sector, which fell by 1,467 (-1.8%).
Looking specifically at Accommodation and Food services, these units accounted for 14.2% of all occupied commercial properties in the country in June 2021. This sector has been particularly impacted by Covid-19 restrictions over the past 18 months. The highest proportions of Accommodation and Food premises are located in some of the most popular tourist locations, such a Kerry (24.3%), Clare (20.7%) and Donegal (19.3%).
Commenting on the GeoView Commercial Vacancy Rates Report, Dara Keogh, Chief Executive of GeoDirectory said, “We have seen a slight, but consistent increase in commercial vacancy rates across the country over the past twelve months. There still appears to be a very prominent gap in economic activity on the east coast compared to the west coast and this is something which will need to be addressed on a policy level. The report also found a noticeable decline in the number of Retail and Wholesale units in the country, with 1,931 fewer premises recorded than this time last year.”
Annette Hughes, Director at EY Economic Advisory, said, “The data provided is up to mid-June 2021 and hence just captures the beginning of the easing of restrictions for outdoor dining for the hospitality sector on 7 June. The further reopening of indoor hospitality on 26 July and the more general relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions is giving rise to an early rebound in economic activity. While the sustainability of some businesses in the hospitality sector may be tested after the summer staycation season, the hope is that progress on the vaccination programme reduces any risk of a resumption of further restrictions and the domestic economic recovery gathers momentum over the coming twelve months."
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