Dundalk has Louth's highest vacancy rate for business premises

Commercial property report has stark findings for town

Report: 'Of the towns in Louth sampled, Dundalk (19.3%) had the highest commercial vacancy rate.' (Stock image)

Olivia RyanThe Argus

Dundalk has the highest commercial vacancy rate in Louth, according to the latest GeoView Commercial Property Report published by GeoDirectory and EY-DKM today.

This was higher than the national average of 13.5%. Overall the commercial vacancy rate in Louth was 14.6% in the last quarter of 2020.

Louth accounted for 3.2% of the State's total commercial stock of 211,677. Of the towns in Louth sampled, Dundalk (19.3%) had the highest commercial vacancy rate, while Ardee (16.6%) had the lowest.

An estimated 11.8% of commercial units in Louth were classified as providing accommodation and food services.

The findings of the report suggest that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the commercial property landscape in Ireland has not yet been fully realised.

An increase in commercial vacancy rates was recorded in 19 counties at the end of 2020 when compared to the corresponding period in 2019. Of the five counties to record a decline, all were located in the Leinster region.

Previous GeoView Commercial Property Reports have highlighted a growing regional disparity in commercial occupancy rates and this trend appears to be accelerating.

In addition, there appears to be a fall off in retail and wholesale, but a growth in accommodation and the food services sector. Figures show that in Louth there was a total of 568 units classified in this sector at the end of 2020.

Speaking about the launch of the GeoView Commercial Property Report, Dara Keogh, CEO of GeoDirectory said: 'It has been an extremely turbulent twelve months for commercial sectors in Ireland with restrictions and lockdowns causing much uncertainty for businesses. We have yet to see the full impact of this, but some trends are beginning to emerge. The number of retail and wholesale units fell sharply in 2020. This may be as a result of Covid-19 restrictions, but also could point to the changing face of retail with businesses moving towards an online model.'

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