Dundalk has the highest rate of empty commercial units in Louth

Reporter

Reporter:

Reporter

Dundalk has the highest rate of empty commercial units in Louth

Dundalk has by far the highest rate of empty commercial units in Louth.

The commercial vacancy rate in Louth increased by 0.3 percentage points (pp) to 14.6% in Q4 2020 according to the latest GeoView Commercial Property Report published by GeoDirectory and EY-DKM.

This was higher than the national average of 13.5%.

In Dundalk, the vacancy rate is 19.3%, the highest of any town in the county. Ardee (16.6%) had the lowest.

Louth accounted for 3.2% of the State’s total commercial stock of 211,677.

The findings of the report suggest that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the commercial property landscape in Ireland has not yet been fully realised.

However, key trends and indicators are beginning to emerge.

An increase in commercial vacancy rates was recorded in 19 counties in Q4 2020 when compared to the corresponding period in 2019.

This included every county in Munster, Ulster and Connacht. Of the five counties to record a decline, all were located in the Leinster region.

Previous GeoView Commercial Property Reports have highlighted a growing regional disparity in commercial occupancy rates and this trend appears to be accelerating.

The commercial vacancy rates in Connacht and Ulster were above the national average of 13.5%, while Munster was equal to the national average.

In comparison, Leinster (12.3%) and Leinster, excluding Dublin, (12.7%) recorded vacancy rates below the national average.

The seven counties with the highest commercial vacancy rates were all located along the west coast of Ireland, with almost one-in-five commercial properties vacant in Sligo (19.9%), the highest in the country.

With the exception of Kildare (14.4%), all counties in the Greater Dublin Area registered commercial vacancy rates lower than the national average, with Meath (10.1%) recording the lowest rate.

In the capital itself, the vacancy rate fell marginally by 0.1pp to 11.9%.

Using the classification of commercial property which are allocated a NACE code, GeoDirectory can provide an analysis of broad economic sectors to identify trends in property usage.

The data shows that in Q4 2020 there were 2,011 fewer Retail and Wholesale address points in Ireland when compared to the previous year. This represents a decline of 5.3%.

Looking specifically at the Accommodation and Food Services sector, GeoDirectory figures show that in Louth there was a total of 568 units classified in this sector in Q4 2020.

Kerry (24.3.%), Clare (20.6%), Donegal (19.3%), Leitrim (18.7%) and Mayo (17.9%) were the counties with the highest proportion of Accommodation and Food Service units, relative to the overall county commercial stock.

The latest GeoView Commercial Property Report has analysed the commercial vacancy rates in selected towns across the country.

The analysis has found that Ballybofey in Co. Donegal, at 29.2%, was the town with the highest commercial vacancy rate amongst 80 towns sampled, followed by Edenderry in Co. Offaly (27.5%) and Edgeworthstown in Co. Longford (26.9%).

Greystones in Co. Wicklow, at 7.2%, continued to have the lowest commercial vacancy rate across the 80 towns