Revealed: Dublin's commercial activity dominates as rural areas record highest vacancy rates
The disparity of commercial activity between the east and west coast of Ireland has been highlighted in a recent GeoDirectory report.
According to the latest GeoView Commercial Vacancy Rates Report, the improved economy is proving more beneficial for urban areas in this regard.
The report reveals that one third (33.2pc) of all commercial properties in Ireland are located in Dublin and the nearby counties of Meath, Kildare and Wicklow.
This compared with just 13.6pc of the total based across the five counties of Connacht.
Focusing on the vacancy rate of these properties, the report notes that this has fallen very slightly in an annual comparison: 13.2pc at the end of last year from 13.3pc in Q4 2017.
That corresponds to 27,951 vacant commercial properties compared with a total of 211,610 across the country.
Compounding that divide between urban and rural, the report published the list of the highest commercial vacancy rates, on which counties in the West featured prominently.
Sligo recorded the highest rate of 18.9pc while Leitrim (16.4pc), Galway (16pc), Mayo (15.8pc) and Roscommon (15.7pc) made up the top five.
Meanwhile, the lowest commercial vacancy rate was recorded in Meath at 10.4pc, followed by Kerry (10.6pc), Wexford (11pc), Westmeath (11.1pc) and Cork (11.6pc).
CEO of GeoDirectory Dara Keogh said the greater Dublin area is dominating the rest of the country, with a third of all commercial units in the country located in just four counties.
"The importance of tourism to the west coast is also evident, with the highest proportion of accommodation and food service units located in this region," he said.
"Depending on the outcome of Brexit, the economy of this region may be vulnerable to fluctuating currency exchange rates and potentially fewer visitors from the UK."
In Dublin, the commercial vacancy rate fell very slightly to 12.2pc with 14 of the 22 postcodes across the county recording a rate decline.
The lowest vacancy rate was registered in Dublin 16 at 6.5pc while Dublin 11 recorded the highest at 16.7pc.
The town with the highest commercial vacancy rate in Ireland, at 30.7pc, is Ballybofey in Donegal. This compares with Greystones in Wicklow which recorded the lowest vacancy rate in the country, at 6.1pc.
GeoDirectory was established by An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) to create and manage Ireland’s database of commercial and residential buildings.