Leitrim’s vacancy rate was 16.4% in Q4 2018, up 0.8pp compared to the same period in 2018 according to the latest GeoView Commercial Vacancy Rates Report, published by GeoDirectory today.
The national commercial vacancy rate has fallen slightly from 13.3% in Q4 2017 to 13.2% in Q4 2018. Out of the total stock of 211,610 commercial properties in the state, 27,951 were vacant as of Q4 2018.
The report highlights the widening gap between the East and West coast in terms of commercial activity, showing that while the economy has improved significantly in recent years, it is mainly centred around urban areas. For example, Dublin and the surrounding counties of Meath, Kildare and Wicklow, account for 33.2% of all commercial properties in the country. In contrast, the five counties in Connacht accounted for only 13.6% of the national stock.
Counties on the West coast recorded the highest commercial vacancy rates, with Sligo (18.9%), Leitrim (16.4%), Galway (16%), Mayo (15.8%) and Roscommon (15.7%) making up the top five. Worryingly, Leitrim (+0.8 pp), Roscommon (+0.8 pp) and Mayo (+0.6 pp) also recorded the highest increases in commercial vacancies.
GeoDirectory has carried out an analysis of vacancy rates in 80 towns across the four provinces. In Carrick-on-Shannon, the commercial vacancy rate was 16.9%. Ballybofey in Donegal remains the town with the highest commercial vacancy rate in Ireland, rising by 2 pp to 30.7% in Q4 2018. In contrast, Greystones in Wicklow recorded a vacancy rate of 6.1%, the lowest in the country.
In Leitrim, 18.2% of commercial properties are involved in the accommodation and food services sector.
Kerry (23.5%), Clare (20.3%), Donegal (19%), Leitrim (18.2%) and Mayo (17.8%) were the counties with the highest percentage of accommodation and food services units relative to the overall commercial stock in the county. This demonstrates the importance of tourism to the west coast, particularly given the high commercial vacancy rates typical to the region.