One in seven commercial premises empty in Galway

Vacant ... the former Taaffe's shop on William Street in Galway

Stark figures were released this week which show that one in every seven commercial premises in Galway were lying empty at the end of 2014.

And Connacht has the three counties with the three highest commercial vacancy rates in the country – Sligo, Leitrim and Galway.

A new report shows that of the 12,817 commercial addresses recorded in Galway last year, a startling 1,950 (15.2%) were empty.

That is the third highest level for the entire country after Sligo at 16.5% and Leitrim at 15.5%.

According to the report from GeoDirectory and DKM Economic Consultants, the total number of commercial addresses in the country was 223,107.

The report uses an address point as a unit, as opposed to a building, which can comprise one or more units.  In Sligo, there were 627 vacant units at the end of 2014, while in Leitrim, there were 311.

Dublin (22% or 49,161 address points) had the highest number of unique commercial address points, followed by Cork (11.6% or 25,882) and Galway (5.7%). Leitrim, Longford and Carlow had the lowest number of commercial address points, each with less than 3,000 units.

Dara Keogh, CEO of GeoDirectory said “We have observed similar trends during 2013 and 2014, forming at a county and regional level, which is providing us with an overview of the picture from a national perspective. Average commercial vacancy rates are increasing. However the rate of increase of vacancy is slowing.”

The GeoDirectory figures are recorded by 5,600 An Post delivery staff working with experts from Ordnance Survey Ireland. The database is used by many different companies and organisations across a diverse range of applications.  The emergency services use it for route optimisation when responding to 999 calls, which can save valuable minutes in an emergency, while it is also used by the likes of the Central Statistics Office, the Property Registration Authority, Bord Gais, 11890 directory enquiries, banks, property websites and pizza delivery companies.