Cork’s commercial vacancy rate rises

Cork’s commercial vacancy rate has increased by 0.1 percentage points (pp) to 11.7% in Quarter 4 2019, with the national commercial vacancy rate standing at 13.3% for the period (0.1pp higher than the same period in 2018).

The commercial vacancy rate increased in all four provinces in 2019. In total, 16 counties recorded increases in their commercial vacancy rate, with a decrease occurring in only 6 counties.

Sligo, at 18.9%, was the county with the highest commercial vacancy rate.

The data is according to the latest GeoView Commercial Vacancy Rates Report published by GeoDirectory on Tuesday.

Jointly established by An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi), GeoDirectory was set up to create and manage Ireland’s only complete database of commercial and residential buildings.

Youghal highest vacancy rate in Cork

In Cork, Youghal was the town with the highest commercial vacancy rate at 20.5%, followed by Cobh (15.8%), Mallow (15.2%), Cork City (12.8%) and Midleton (12.2%). Carrigaline had the lowest vacancy rate at 9.2%.

In Munster, County Limerick had the highest vacancy rate at 15.6% recording an increase of 0.4pp during the same period in 2018. At 14.3%, County Tipperary recorded an increase of 0.1pp, with Waterford remaining on 14.1%, as per Q4 2018.

Services accounted for 48.5% of the total occupancy in Munster followed by Retail and Wholesale at 23.3%. Health constituted 9.3% of the total NACE (economic activity) occupied units followed by Industry at 5.2%.

All other sectors, namely Construction, Education, Financial and Public Administration each had a share of less than 5%.

At 10.1%, Meath recorded the lowest commercial vacancy rate in the country, followed by Kerry (10.7%), Wexford (10.9%), Westmeath (11.6%) and Cork (11.7%).

The commercial vacancy rate in Dublin was 12%, 1.3pp lower than the national average.

Edenderry in Co. Offaly, at 29.1%, was the town with the highest commercial vacancy rate in the country.

Ten Year Commercial Property Trends

The GeoView Commercial Property Report also highlights the developing trends in commercial property usage over the past decade.

Thanks to an increased focus on health and fitness, there has been a significant rise in the number of gyms in urban areas over the past decade.

From a total of just 311 gyms in 2010, the figure stood at 831 in 2019, representing a 167% increase.

In the last ten years there has been a 58% increase in the number of cafés in main urban areas, while there has only been a 3.1% increase in the number of bars in the same areas over the same period of time.

The number of commercial properties offering beauty/men’s grooming services has also increased notably, rising by 22% over the last ten years.

The GeoDirectory database is the most comprehensive address database of commercial and residential properties in the Republic of Ireland.

A copy of the GeoView Residential Buildings Report is attached in PDF format and is available at