Vacant commercial property in Mayo increases

The number of vacant commercial units in Mayo has increased last year from the figures recorded in 2015 according to a new research published this week, the research has found that the commercial vacancy rate in Mayo at the end of quarter four of 2016 was running at 15.6 per cent, up from 13.5 per cent at the same time last year.

The research was carried out 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. They publish twice yearly their findings and this is the 12th publication of their report.

The report also found that the town of Ballina had the highest vacancy rate in Connacht, with a rate of 24.7 per cent,  up from 21.4 per cent at the same time last year. The two other major towns in the county also saw an increase in the vacancy rate of commercial premises with Castlebar recording a 2.1 per cent increase up to 22.5 per cent and Westport recording a one per cent increase up to 13.5 per cent.

Regionally the report has found that counties on the west coast of Ireland tended to perform less well than their eastern counterparts, with Sligo (18 per cent ), Leitrim (16.4 per cent ), Donegal, Mayo (15.6 per cent each ), Galway (15.4 per cent ) and Limerick (15.3 per cent ) having the six highest vacancy rates in the country.

This split is again evident when looking at a provincial level, Connacht, at 15.7 per cent, had the highest vacancy rate of any province, while Leinster (excluding Dublin ), had a vacancy rate of 12.5 per cent. Munster also recorded a vacancy rate below the national average at 12.9 per cent, while Ulster and Dublin recorded overall vacancy rates of 14 per cent and 13.7 per cent respectively.

In the last year, commercial vacancy rates increased in 25 of the 26 counties. Limerick was the only county that retained the same vacancy rate as Q4 2015, albeit still at a notably high 15.3 per cent. Kerry recorded the lowest vacancy rate of any county in  at 10.2 per cent, which was a 1pp rise since Q4 2015. Sligo recorded the highest commercial vacancy rate of any county in Q4 2016 at 18 per cent. The largest percentage point increase over the last year was in Tipperary where the vacancy rate increased by 2.2pp to 14.1%. This was closely followed by Mayo and Offaly where annual increases of 2.1pp and 2pp were recorded respectively.

Commenting on the findings, Dara Keogh, CEO, GeoDirectory, said, “In this edition of GeoView, we’re seeing the divide between the commercial success in the east and west growing. The six counties with the highest vacancy rates are on the west coast. Our figures reinforce the theory that we have a recovery that is somewhat skewed with the west of Ireland falling behind the rest of the country.”

Annette Hughes, Director of DKM Economic Consultants, said: “We have now completed our fourth comprehensive year-end report on the commercial building stock in Ireland. This report is very timely, with its analysis of 79 regional towns, and following the recent launches of the public consultation on the National Planning Framework for Ireland and the Plan for Rural Development, it shows the areas most in need of support, given the high vacancy rates recorded."

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