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25 May 2022

Small drop in latest Leitrim Commercial Vacancy Rate

But county still has second-highest commercial vacancy rate in the country

Commercial Vacancy Rate in Kilkenny Falls to 12%

There has been a small drop in the commercial vacancy rate in Leitrim

The commercial vacancy rate in Leitrim has experienced a small drop in its commercial vacancy rate but it still has the second highest commercial vacancy rate in the country.

The commercial vacancy rate for the final quarter (Q4) of 2021 in Leitrim is 17.1% according to the latest GeoDirectory Commercial Vacancy Rates Report, published today.  

Nationally, the commercial vacancy rate was 13.9% in Q4 2021, the highest level of commercial vacancy recorded by GeoDirectory since the report began in 2013. The report, prepared by EY, found that commercial vacancies increased in 15 out of 26 counties.  

County Commercial Vacancy Rates 

The highest commercial vacancy rates were recorded in the west of the country, continuing the trend observed in previous reports. Sligo, at 20.0%, was the county with the highest commercial vacancy rate, followed by Leitrim and Roscommon, both at 17.1%. In Q4 2021, the average commercial vacancy rate for Connacht was 17.3%.  

Meath (10.2%) was the county with the lowest commercial vacancy rate in the state, with Wicklow (10.4%) and Kerry (11.3%) also recording notably low rates.  

In Dublin, the commercial vacancy rate increased by 1.0pp in the year to Q4 2021, reaching a rate of 12.9%. This year-on-year increase was second only to Laois, which recorded a 1.1pp increase to stand at 14.2%.  

Analysis of Towns and Dublin Districts  

This report examined the commercial vacancy rates among a sample of 80 towns located across the state. In Leitrim, the commercial vacancy rate in Carrick-on-Shannon was 17.5%. 

Nationally, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal was the town with the highest rate in Q4 2021, at 30.0%. Edenderry, Co. Offaly (27.7%), Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford (26.3%), Kilrush, Co. Clare (26.2%), and Roscommon Town (24.2%) completed the top five towns by highest commercial vacancy rate.   

Commenting on the findings of the report, Dara Keogh, Chief Executive of GeoDirectory said, “At 13.9%, the commercial vacancy rate in Q4 2021 was at its highest level since GeoDirectory began reporting on this data in 2013. This increase in commercial vacancies is not reflected in terms of numbers in employment, which according to the CSO increased steadily in 2021. This may suggest that Covid-19 has accelerated businesses to pivot towards enhancing their online presence and scaling-back their physical offering on main streets. As working from home is expected to continue beyond the pandemic, and online commerce increases in popularity, there needs to be a policy conversation around how vacant commercial properties are regenerated on our main streets for wider benefit.”  

Annette Hughes, Director, EY Economic Advisory said, “Our analysis in previous reports has shown a clear divide in terms of commercial activity on the east and west coast. This trend remains visible, however commercial vacancies increased in 15 out of 26 counties last year. Dublin recorded the second highest year-on-year rise in commercial vacancies, second only to Laois, both in the Leinster region.  I think the most interesting statistic is the over 29,000 vacant commercial units across Ireland. When combined with our over 90,000 vacant residential units in our Residential Building Report published in January, this suggest that there are almost 120,000 vacant buildings, a good proportion of which could potentially be returned to commercial, community or residential uses on the streets of towns and cities across the country."

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