Prime business district in Dublin has vacancy rate near 20%

Research finds vacancy rates across State remain high despite economic recovery

Despite reports of strong demand for office space in the centre of Dublin, Dublin 2, one of the city’s core business districts, has a commercial vacancy rate of more than 18 per cent, significantly above the national average, according to new research by property database GeoDirectory and DKM Economic Consultants.

The surprise finding suggests there is a serious mismatch between the available stock and what is being demanded.

GeoDirectory chief executive Dara Keogh said while there was a string of media reports about high-end tech and financial companies moving into Dublin 2, many had large space requirements which did not fit the specifications of what was available.

GeoDirectory ’s analysis of 102 locations, including 80 towns across the four provinces plus 22 Dublin postal districts, revealed that despite the emergence of a sustained economic recovery since 2014, commercial vacancy rates remain stubbornly high in many parts.


It showed that most of the 15 towns with the highest commercial vacancy rates – those in excess of 20 per cent – were either based along the west coast or in the midlands.

"This continues the trend that we have seen in previous editions of GeoView, where the east is outperforming the west, although vacancy rates remain stubbornly high across the board," said Annette Hughes, director of DKM.

Nationally the study shows 28,784 of the 212,717 commercial address points in the Republic were vacant in the second quarter, which equates to a national vacancy rate of 13.5 per cent.

The highest vacancy rate of any county was recorded in Sligo at 18 per cent , followed by Leitrim at 16.2 per cent , Limerick at 15.9 per cent , Galway at 15.6 per cent and Mayo at 15.5 per cent .

Low vacancy rate

Kerry, which has consistently had a low vacancy rate over the past number of years, again had the lowest commercial vacancy rate at 10.6 per cent , albeit this was up from 9.4 per cent last year.

Ballybofey in Donegal was the town with the highest vacancy rate at 28.8 per cent, followed by Edenderry (Co Offaly) with a vacancy rate of 27 per cent.

At a provincial level, Connacht had the highest average vacancy rate at 15.8 per cent, with Ulster recording the second highest rate at 14.1 per cent. Leinster (excluding Dublin) had an average vacancy rate of 12.6 per cent.

The largest increase in commercial vacancy rates was seen in Longford with vacancy rates increasing from 12.9 per cent to 14.9 per cent on a quarterly basis.

Only two counties recorded decreases in the same period, Dublin (-0.2 per cent) and Leitrim (-0.1 per cent).

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times