Decrease in commercial vacancy rates

Decrease in commercial vacancy rates


Commercial VacancyCommercial vacancy rates recorded a slight decrease in Clare in 2015.

According to new research published by GeoDirectory, commercial vacancy rates in Clare have decreased, from 13% in Q4 2014 to 12.8% in Q4. The total number of occupied commercial premises in Ireland increased throughout 2015 from 194,642 in Q4 2014 to 195,803 in Q4 2015.

The new research is from the Q4 2015 edition of GeoView which is published twice a year. It is the third annual review of commercial vacancy rates in Ireland that not only provides national data but also analyses the data by quarter, by county, by province and across a broad range of sectors in the Irish economy.

The review found that the national average commercial vacancy rate in Q4 2015 was 12.6%, 0.2 percentage points below the rate recorded in Clare during the same period. This figure represents a decrease in commercial vacancy of 0.2 percentage points since Q4 2014. 16 counties recorded a decrease in commercial vacancy rates between Q4 2014 and Q4 2015.

Kerry recorded the lowest vacancy rate of any county in Q4 2015 at 9.2%. Sligo recorded the highest commercial vacancy rate of any county in Q4 2015 at 16.4%. Both counties held the same rankings in Q4 2014.

Clare was one of the 16 counties that saw the commercial vacancy rate decline during 2015 – 10 of those were in Leinster and 3 were in Munster. However a number of counties in Connaught and Ulster have yet to recover and are still showing an increase in vacancy rates. The average commercial vacancy in Ulster increased from 12.5% in Q4 2014 to 12.7% in Q4 2015, while the vacancy rate in Connacht went from 14.7% in Q4 2014 to 14.8% in Q4 2015.

Both Munster (11.9%) and Leinster (12.4%) saw a decrease of 0.2 percentage points each between Q4 2014 and Q4 2015.  Leinster’s commercial vacancy rate was unchanged from Q2 2015 with just 2 counties, Wexford (10.1%) and Wicklow (12.5%), recording increases over the year.

The data was published by GeoDirectory which 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. These figures are recorded through a combination of the An Post network of 5,600 delivery staff working with OSi.

Commenting on the findings, Dara Keogh, CEO, GeoDirectory said: “The trends we saw throughout 2013 and 2014 seem to have shifted. Where in the past we saw vacancy rates increasing at varying rates, we are now seeing falling vacancy rates in many parts of the country. Connacht and Ulster still seem to be struggling, however there are strong signs of a recovery with just 8 counties across the country showing an increase in commercial vacancy rates year on year.”

According to Q4 2015 figures, there were 224,003 commercial properties in Ireland, 28,200 of which were vacant. The largest percentage point increase was seen in Leitrim where the vacancy rate increased by 0.6pp to 16.1% between Q4 2014 and Q4 2015. Conversely, the largest decrease was seen in Carlow where the vacancy rate fell by 1.2pp to 11.9%. Both Cavan (11%) and Tipperary (11.9%) showed the same vacancy rate in both Q4 2014 and Q4 2015.

At 49,809 Dublin had the largest number of unique commercial address points followed by Cork (25,627) and Galway (12,877). In 2015, Leitrim, Longford and Carlow had the lowest number of commercial address points with less than 3,000 units in each county, as was the case throughout 2013 and 2014.

DKM Staff Profiles.Copyright Fennell Photography 2015 Annette Hughes.
Annette Hughes. Picture: Fennell Photography

Annette Hughes, Director of DKM Economic Consultants said: “We have now completed our third comprehensive annual report on the commercial building stock in Ireland. The GeoView reports provide a unique view of the geographical spread of commercial building stock and corresponding vacancy rates in Ireland over the three years 2013-2015”