Which Towns Have Most Empty Shops?

29 Aug 2017 | 10.51 am

Which Towns Have Most Empty Shops?

Ballybofey tops the GeoDirectory ranking

29 Aug 2017 | 10.51 am

The national commercial vacancy rate in Ireland increased from 13.1% in Q2 2016 to 13.5% in Q2 2017, according to new research published by GeoDirectory and DKM Economic Consultants.

Some 28,784 of the 212,717 commercial address points in Ireland were vacant. The report points out that notwithstanding economic recovery, commercial vacancy rates across the 26 counties remain stubbornly high.

The new research, from the Q2 2017 edition of GeoView, 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).

GeoDirectory conducted an analysis of 102 locations, including 80 towns across the four provinces plus 22 Dublin postal districts.

Ballybofey in Donegal was the town with the highest vacancy rate, at 28.8%, having fallen by 2.6pp over the course of the year. Second on the list was Edenderry in Offaly, with a vacancy rate of 27%, a large decrease of 4pp since this time last year.

The highest year-on-year increases in vacancy rates were in Muine Bheag (+3.2pp) in Carlow, Edgeworthstown in Longford (+2.3pp) and Castlebar in Mayo (+2pp).

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%. In total, nine of the Dublin districts had vacancy rates above the national average.

At a provincial level, 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.

Mismatch

Commenting, Dara Keogh (pictured), CEO of GeoDirectory, said that the in places such as Dublin 2, where demand for office space is strong but vacancy rates are still high, a serious mismatch appears between the stock that is available and what is being demanded.

“One of the most prominent points to emerge from this edition of GeoView is that the vast majority of the 15 towns with the highest commercial vacancy rates were either based along the West coast of Ireland or were in the Midlands,” he added. “These 15 towns had commercial vacancy rates in excess of 20% and well above the national average.”

Annette Hughes, director of DKM Economic Consultants, noted that nationally, commercial vacancy rates are increasing. “Twenty-two counties recorded increased vacancy rates in the last 12 months, with Dublin and Leitrim the only counties to record decreases,” she observed.

“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.”

GeoDirectory 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. The figures are recorded through a combination of the An Post network of 5,600 delivery staff working with OSi.

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