THE commercial vacancy rate in Limerick stood at 16.9 per cent in June 2023, according to the latest GeoDirectory Commercial Buildings Report.
This represents an increase of 0.3 percentage points (pp) compared to June 2022.
The report, prepared by EY, found that the national commercial vacancy rate stood at 14.1 per cent in June 2023, a marginal increase of 0.2 percentage points when compared to the same period in 2022.
The national commercial vacancy rate is the highest level recorded by GeoDirectory since it began reporting on the rates in 2013.
Commercial vacancy rates increased in 20 out of 26 counties in the 12 months to June 2023, with a total of 29,798 vacant commercial units recorded across Ireland.
The GeoDirectory Commercial Buildings Report examined the commercial vacancy rates among a sample of 80 towns across the country in June 2023. Of the urban areas in County Limerick analysed, Abbeyfeale had the highest commercial vacancy rate in Q2 2023 at 22.1 per cent, while Limerick had the lowest at 19.4 per cent.
Commenting on the findings of the report, Dara Keogh, chief executive of GeoDirectory said: “Businesses are clearly still struggling with the increasing costs of doing business in regard to energy costs and food inflation.”
“An additional challenge this year has been interest rate increases which are generating some pressures for commercial owner occupiers and tenants.”
The analysis shows that there remains a wide disparity in vacancy rates across the country, a trend observed in previous GeoDirectory Commercial Buildings reports.
At 19.9 per cent, Sligo was the county with the highest commercial vacancy rate, followed by Galway (18 per cent), Donegal (17.9 per cent), Mayo (17.3 per cent) and Roscommon (16.9 per cent).
The county with the lowest commercial vacancy rate was Meath at 10.2 per cent, followed by Wexford at 10.6 per cent, and Kerry at 12.2 per cent.
Annette Hughes, Director, EY Economic Advisory said after several years of strong construction activity in the commercial sector, the increases in commercial vacancy are to an extent unsurprising, with trends such as working from home, sustainability, and energy efficiency likely having some impact.
“While there have been increases in the cost of doing business for some companies, the overall Irish economy remains in a good position, with further growth and increases in the numbers employed forecast,” she added.