GeoDirectory Commercial Buildings Report Q4 2023

National Commercial Vacancy rate in Ireland hits a new high of 14.3% in Q4 2023

GeoDirectory report finds that the commercial vacancy rate increased in 20 counties in the twelve months to December 2023

GeoDirectory Commercial Buildings Report Q4 2023
  • The national commercial vacancy rate increased by 0.3 percentage points (ppt) to 14.3% in Q4 2023, the highest level reported by GeoDirectory since the report began in 2013
  • In total, there were 30,046 empty commercial units across the country in Q4 2023
  • At 20.5%, Sligo recorded the highest county commercial vacancy rate, followed by Galway (18.5%) and Donegal (18.2%)
  • The lowest commercial vacancy rates were recorded in Meath (10.1%), Wexford (10.5%) and Cork (12.2%)
  • Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford was the town reporting the highest commercial vacancy rate at 30.2%, after increasing by 1.8 ppts between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023
National Commercial Vacancy Rates

The national commercial vacancy rate increased by 0.3 percentage points (ppt) to 14.3% in the year to Q4 2023 according to the latest GeoDirectory Commercial Buildings Report, published today. This is the highest level of commercial vacancy recorded by GeoDirectory since it began tracking data in 2013. In total, there were 30,046 empty commercial units across the country. The report, prepared by EY, also found that the commercial vacancy rate increased in 20 out of 26 counties.

County Commercial Vacancy Rates

Sligo, at 20.5%, was the county with the highest commercial vacancy rate, followed by Galway (18.5%) and Donegal (18.2%). The west of the country continued to record high commercial vacancy rates in Q4 2023, with the rate in Connacht reaching 18.3%, an increase of 0.7 ppts compared to the same period in 2022.
Meath (10.1%) remained as the county with the lowest commercial vacancy rate in the state, closely followed by Wexford (10.5%) and Cork (12.2%).

In Dublin, the commercial vacancy rate increased by 0.3 ppts from Q4 2022 to 13.2%, which was the highest level recorded in Dublin since Q4 2016.

Analysis of Towns and Dublin Districts

This report examined commercial vacancy rates among a sample of 80 towns located across the state. It found that Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford was the town with the highest rate in Q4 2023, at 30.2%. Shannon, Co. Clare (29.8%), Ballybofey Co. Donegal (29.4%), Boyle, Co. Roscommon (27.6%), and Sligo Town (26.2%) completed the top five towns by highest commercial vacancy rate.

Greystones, Co. Wicklow and Carrigaline, Co. Cork were the towns with the lowest commercial vacancy rate in the country, at 5.6% and 7.2% respectively.
Within the capital’s postal districts, Dublin 2 had the highest vacancy rate at 18.2%. Dublin 2 also recorded the largest year-on-year rise, increasing by 1.5 ppts between December 2022 and December 2023.

The Dublin postcode with the lowest vacancy rate was Dublin 15, at 6.0%. Eight out of the 22 Dublin districts recorded a decrease in vacancy rates, with the largest fall in Dublin 20, of 3.3 ppts. 18 Dublin districts recording vacancy rates below the national average of 14.3%.

Commercial Address Points by Sector

Using NACE* codes to classify units by economic sector, GeoDirectory is able to identify broad trends in the use of commercial units nationally. Of the 180,774 occupied address points in the state in Q4 2023, 154,995 (85.7%) were assigned a NACE code.

The services sector, including hospitality and tourism, had the largest share of commercial sites, accounting for 49.3% of the overall total. The services sector also had the largest reduction in the number of commercial units, recording a decrease of 636 units, which accounted for 43.1% of the total reduction in commercial properties.

Within the services sector, hospitality services had the highest number of commercial units, accounting for 22,379 units or 14.4% of the total.
The retail and wholesale sector was the second-largest sector in terms of occupying commercial sites, making up 22.1% (34,233 units) of the total NACE codes. In the year to Q4 2023, there were 548 fewer Retail and wholesale units recorded across the country.

Commenting on the findings of the GeoDirectory Commercial Buildings Report, Dara Keogh, CEO of GeoDirectory, said, “The rate of commercial vacancies in Ireland has hit a new high of 14.3%, continuing the trend of increasing rates in recent years. This trend can be attributed to a number of factors such as the rising cost of doing business, changing consumer habits and hybrid working. Consideration must now be given to how some of these vacant properties can be repurposed and reused, in order to avoid long-term vacancy and potential dereliction of these buildings.”

Annette Hughes, Director at EY Economic Advisory, said :

“The latest Commercial Buildings Report finds that vacancy rates have continued to increase, with 20 out of 26 counties recording an increase in commercial vacancy in Q4 2023. Businesses have been impacted by a series of factors over recent years which have led to challenging trading conditions for many and so this increase is not unexpected. On a more positive note, the continued easing of inflation, ongoing reductions in energy prices and the anticipated cuts in interest rates should hopefully provide some relief for businesses this year. Longer term, strategic policy measures such as the forthcoming revision of the National Planning Framework offer an opportunity to influence future growth patterns, incentivising population and development into areas with particularly high vacancy rates.”

Notes to Editor  
About GeoDirectory - Data Intelligence for Targeted Growth    
The GeoDirectory database is the most comprehensive address database of dwellings in the Republic of Ireland. A copy of the Residential Buildings Report is attached in PDF format and is available at   
GeoDirectory was jointly established by An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) to create and manage Ireland’s only complete database of commercial and residential buildings. The figures are recorded through a combination of the An Post network of 5,600 delivery staff working with OSi.   
The GeoDirectory database is used by many different companies and organisations across a diverse range of applications. Its database and services are used by the Central Statistics Office to achieve more accurate census results.   
In the property sector, GeoDirectory is used by and the Property Registration Authority. In addition, utility companies, banking and insurance providers, and all local authorities use the database.   
For further information or to view relevant case studies please visit: and @GeoDirectory_ie on Twitter.   
Past GeoDirectory Commercial Vacancy Reports are available to view at: and  

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