The national commercial vacancy rate has fallen by 0.4% to 13.1% in the second quarter of 2018 according to the latest GeoView Commercial Vacancy Rates Report, published by GeoDirectory today.
The report found that 14 counties recorded a decline in commercial vacancy rates, compared to only two counties at the same period in 2017. This suggests that the economic recovery is slowly beginning to take hold outside of Dublin.
However, GeoDirectory warn there is still a clear divide between counties in the East and West of the country, and in urban and rural areas, in terms of commercial vacancies.
At a provincial level, Leinster’s commercial vacancy rate stood at 12.3%, while at the other end of the scale, Connacht had the highest provincial commercial vacancy rate at 16.3%. Of the ten counties with commercial vacancy rates lower than the national average, six were located in Leinster. All five counties in Connacht had commercial vacancy rates higher than the national average.
Dublin was the county that recorded the largest commercial vacancy rate decline in the second quarter 2018, at 1.6pp. Within the capital, 16 districts out of 22 recorded vacancy rates lower than the national average.
Dublin 2, registered a significant drop in its commercial vacancy rate (5.6pp), while Dublin 16, at 7.1%, had the lowest commercial vacancy rate in Dublin. In contrast, the highest commercial vacancy rates in Dublin were found in Dublin 8 and Dublin 11, both at 15.8%.
Meath and Kerry were the counties with the lowest commercial vacancy rates in the country at 10.4%, while Sligo was once again the county with the highest commercial vacancy rate at 18.8%.
GeoDirectory has carried out an analysis of 80 towns across the four provinces. The report found that Ballybofey in Co. Donegal was the town with the highest commercial vacancy rate at 28.8%, followed by Kilrush, Co. Clare (26.6%), Edgeworthstown (26%), Edenderry, Co. Offaly (25.7%) and Shannon Co. Clare (25%). Of the 15 towns with the highest commercial vacancy rate, New Ross (21.3%) in Co. Wexford was the only to be located in Leinster.
Greystones, Co. Wicklow (5.7%), Maynooth, Co. Kildare (7.5%) and Gorey, Co. Wexford (9.1%) were the towns with the lowest commercial vacancy rates in the country.
Speaking about the findings of the latest GeoView Commercial Vacancy Rates Report, CEO of GeoDirectory, Dara Keogh said, "We are beginning to see evidence that the economic recovery is taking hold outside of Dublin, albeit at a slow pace. 14 counties recorded a drop in commercial vacancy rates in the year to date, compared to only two at this point last year. While this is a positive development, economic activity is still centred around Dublin, with Connacht, Ulster and the Midlands lagging behind."