There was 3.5 times more office space vacant in Limerick at the end of June than in Galway, two separate reports from commercial real estate agency Cushman and Wakefield show.
Some 14,950sq m of space was available in Galway at the end of June, a 17 per cent fall to the same period in 2018, compared to 52,550sq m of available space in Limerick, which reflects a 3 per cent rise on the same period in 2018.
While prime rents per square metre are the same for new builds across the two counties, Galway commands higher rents for standing stock, at €323 per sq m, compared to €215 in Limerick.
Limerick appears to have had a slow start to the year, with takeup volumes in the second quarter bolstered by one large deal, namely the movement of Jaguar into newly completed space totalling 5,100sq m in the Shannon Free Zone.
Galway, meanwhile, had an “exceptionally strong start to the year” leading to a reduction in available office stock. The city posted the strongest opening half to the year since 2015, Cushman and Wakefield said, with activity in the suburbs dominating. The city had a vacancy rate of 4.8 per cent compared to 13.3 per cent in Limerick.
Some 9,850sq m of office space in Limerick is under construction compared to 32,500sq m in Galway.
For industrial space, Galway saw a subdued start to the year with just three deals signed, totalling 2,300 sq m. Limerick was considerably more buoyant with seven deals signed totalling 8,525sq m. This was however the lowest level of take up in over a decade.
"While demand for prime industrial space remains strong, a lack of supply however has hampered growth in the sector," said John Murray, a senior negotiator with Cushman and Wakefield in Limerick.
Limerick’s industrial vacancy rate stood at 10.5 per cent compared to 6.3 per cent in Galway.
“There is some renewed demand for modern industrial facilities in the Galway market, but it is unlikely that any speculative development will take place until such time as rental levels improve,” said Seán Coyne, divisional director of Cushman and Wakefield Galway.