According to new report published by GeoDirectory and DKM Economic Consultants today, the national commercial vacancy rate in Ireland increased from 13.1% in the second quarter (Q2) of 2016 to 13.5% in Q2 2017,. 28,784 of the 212,717 commercial address points in Ireland were vacant. Notwithstanding the emergence of the economic recovery since 2014, commercial vacancy rates across the 26 counties remain stubbornly high.
The new research shows that the highest vacancy rate of any county in Ireland was recorded in Sligo at 18%, followed by Leitrim at 16.2%, Limerick at 15.9%, Galway at 15.6% and Mayo at 15.5%. Kerry, which has consistently had a low vacancy rate over the past number of years, again had the lowest commercial vacancy rate at 10.6%. However, this has increased from 9.4% compared to the same time last year.
The largest increase in commercial vacancy rates was seen in Longford with vacancy rates increasing from 12.9% in Q2 2016 to 14.9% in Q2 2017. Only two counties recorded decreases in the same period, Dublin (-0.2 pp) and Leitrim (-0.1 pp).
Despite reports of strong demand for office space in Dublin City centre, Dublin 2 continues to have a high commercial vacancy rate of 18.3%, well above the County Dublin average at 13.6%.
Among the provinces, the report shows that Connacht had the highest average vacancy rate at 15.8% in Q2 2017, an increase from 15.2% in Q2 2016. Ulster recorded the second highest rate at 14.1%, while Munster recorded a rate of 13.1%. Leinster (excluding Dublin) had an average vacancy rate of 12.6%, up 0.6pp since Q2 2016.
Commenting on the report findings, CEO of GeoDirector, Dara Keogh said: “Despite the improvements we have seen in the economy in recent years, commercial vacancy rates have remained stubbornly high. In Dublin 2, where the economic recovery is obvious and demand for office space is apparently strong, we have recorded a vacancy rate of 18.3%.”
He added, “This suggests there is a serious mismatch between the stock that is available and what is being demanded.
Director of DKM Economic Consultants, Annette Hughes, also commented on the findings, elaborating, “At a provincial level, Connacht had the highest vacancy rate at 15.8%, 1.7 percentage points above the next highest provincial rate, recorded in Ulster. Leinster, excluding Dublin, recorded the lowest rate. This continues the trend that we have seen in previous editions of GeoView, where the east is out-performing the west, although vacancy rates remain stubbornly high across the board.”