GeoDirectory Webinar Dissects the Current State of Ireland’s Commercial Property Sector

On Tuesday 2nd March, GeoDirectory presented the current state of Ireland’s Commercial Property Sector at a national, regional, county, town, Dublin postal districts and industry level. It was announced that while the full impact of Covid-19 had not materialised, there was also evidence of new trends emerging and the East, West divide deepening.

The webinar entitled “GeoView: Irish Commercial Property Report 2020” was based off the key facts and figures from the recently released report produced by GeoDirectory in conjunction with EY Ireland. First published in 2014, the annual report has grown to become an important barometer of the commercial sector. Read the full report here.

Opening the webinar, Geodirectory’s CEO, Dara Keogh, discussed that the report’s “data is compiled by GeoDirectory up till December (2020), garnered from An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland”. The keynote speaker, Annette Hughes, Economic Advisory Services Director at Ernst & Young, whom, despite the serious problems Ireland has faced due to Covid19, was largely upbeat in her analysis of Ireland’s Commercial Property Sector. The key findings within the report noted that over 86% of properties are currently occupied, with the vacancy rate remaining largely static over the last few years, although there were large provincial, county and town differences. As of December 2020, it was found that the national commercial vacancy rate was 13.5%, representing a 0.2% increase from the previous year.

Annette then proceeded to give a regional breakdown of the figure, adding “you can see that Connacht has by far a significantly higher vacancy rate than Leinster, for example; in Connacht t’s at 17.2%, in Leinster it was at 12.3%”. The report showed that the top five counties with the highest numbers of vacant commercial property were all found in Connacht. In contrast, the five counties where the vacancy rate had decreased, were all found in Leinster. Ballybofey in Co. Donegal, proved to be the town with the highest vacancy rate whereas unsurprisingly, Greystones in Co. Wicklow had the lowest vacancy rate.

Regarding the prospects for the future, the EY Director had this to say: “We’re in a very serious situation with Covid19, the Government has brought in a lot of policy supports for businesses and they somewhat, possibly, mitigated any serious deterioration in commercial vacancy rates”. Annette concluded her presentation by expressing her hope that the current rollout of vaccinations will lead to a full reopening of commercial businesses sooner, rather than later.

The webinar ended with a lively Q&A session with questions ranging from the impact of the pandemic on industries that have a high dependency on tourism, to whether or not the large property investment firms would continue the pre-Covid property buying spree they had been engaging in.

If you’d like to listen back to this webinar, please click here.

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