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Commercial vacancy rate stands at 14.3% in Waterford

The commercial vacancy rate in Waterford stood at 14.3% in June 2022, according to the latest GeoDirectory Commercial Buildings Report, issued today.

This represents a 0.1% increase compared to June of last year.

The report, prepared by EY, found that the national commercial vacancy rate stood at 13.9% in June 2022, a marginal increase of 0.25% when compared to the same period in 2021. 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 15 out of 26 counties in the twelve months to June 2022, with a total of 29,241 vacant commercial units recorded across Ireland.

Waterford Figures

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Of the selected sample of towns in Munster, Killarney, Kerry and Tramore, Waterford accounted for the highest proportion of businesses in the Services sector at 57.3% and 61.0% respectively.

  • The 14.3% vacancy rate in Waterford is the 14th highest in Ireland - and is 0.4% above the national average of 13.9%.
  • The commercial vacancy rate in Waterford City is 17.3% - compared to 15.3% in Dungarvan and 14% in Tramore.
  • 2.6% of all commercial addresses in Ireland are based here in County Waterford.
  • 15.2% of commercial addresses in Waterford are attributed to the accommodation and food sectors.

Key Findings

  • The commercial vacancy rate in Waterford increased to 14.3% the twelve months to Q2 2022
  • Of the towns in Waterford analysed, Waterford City had the highest commercial vacancy rate in Q2 2022 at 17.6%, while Tramore had the lowest at 13.5%
  • At 19.4%, Sligo was the county with the highest commercial vacancy rate, followed by Galway and Donegal both at 17.2%
  • The lowest commercial vacancy rates were recorded in Meath (9.9%), Wexford (10.6%) and Kerry (11.7%).
  • Ballybofey, Co. Donegal, remained the town in Ireland with the highest commercial vacancy rate in the state at 30.2%.

County Commercial Vacancy Rates

The highest commercial vacancy rates in June 2022 were found in the west and north-west of Ireland, continuing a trend observed in previous GeoDirectory Commercial Buildings Reports. At 19.4%, Sligo was the county with the highest commercial vacancy rate, followed by Galway and Donegal (both at 17.2%), and Leitrim and Mayo (both 16.9%).

The county with the lowest vacancy rate was Meath at 9.9%, followed by Wexford at 10.6% and Kerry at 11.7%.

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Notably, Dublin recorded an increase of 0.5% in the year to Q2 2022, with the commercial vacancy rate in the capital rising to 12.6%. For the second year in succession, Laois recorded the highest increase at 2.2%, increasing the commercial vacancy rate in the county to 15.2%.

Province-wide, the commercial vacancy rate in Connacht increased by 0.1% to 17.3% in the year to Q2 2022, while the commercial vacancy rate in Ulster increased by 0.3% to 15.4%.

Analysis of Commercial Vacancy Rates in Towns

The GeoDirectory Commercial Buildings Report examined the commercial vacancy rates among a sample of 80 towns across the country in June 2022. Of the towns in Waterford analysed, Waterford City had the highest commercial vacancy rate at 17.6%, while Tramore had the lowest at 13.5%.

The report found that Ballybofey, Co. Donegal, remained the town with the highest vacancy rate in Ireland at 30.2%, registering an increase of 0.9% between Q2 2021 and Q2 2022.

The Midlands towns of Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford and Edenderry, Co. Offaly, recorded the second and third highest vacancy rates in the country at 26.3% and 25.2% respectively, followed by Kilrush, Co. Clare (25.1%) and Sligo Town (24.1%).

In the twelve months to June 2022, Carrigaline, Co. Cork moved from the third lowest to the lowest vacancy rate in the country, decreasing from 8.8% Q2 2021 to 6.8% in Q2 2022. Greystones, Co. Wicklow (7.7%) and Gorey, Co. Wexford (8.2%) had the second and third lowest vacancy rates respectively.

Commercial Address Points by Sector

There were 181,683 occupied commercial address points in Q2 2022, representing a decline of 1,225 on the corresponding figure in Q2 2021. Of these, 86.7% were allocated a NACE* code. The number of NACE code-classified commercial units declined by 2,520 between Q2 2021 and Q2 2022 with most of this decline found in the Retail and Wholesale sector, with 800 fewer units. The broader sector of Services, which encompasses a range of economic activities, recorded a decline of 952 units.

The analysis also found that the Accommodation and Food Services sector accounted for 14.3% of all commercial address points in Ireland in June 2022. In total, 22,597 commercial units were classified as operating in this sector. Kerry, at 24.3%, was the county with the highest proportion of Accommodation and Food Services units relative to the overall commercial stock in the county.

Commenting on the findings of the report, Dara Keogh, Chief Executive of GeoDirectory said:

“The latest GeoDirectory Commercial Buildings Report highlights a marginal but continued rise in commercial vacancy rates across Ireland. At 13.9%, the national commercial vacancy rate in Q2 2022 was the highest recorded by GeoDirectory since we started compiling these reports in 2013. The past two and a half years have proved to be difficult for businesses to navigate, thanks to the impact of Covid-19 restrictions followed by rising inflation and energy costs.”

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