Sligo again tops list of commercial vacancy rates in the country

County Sligo has again emerged as the county with the highest rate of empty shops and offices in the country.

And when it comes to towns in the country, Ballybofey in County Donegal tops the vacancy rate.

The latest GeoDirectory analysis of commercial vacancy rates for the second quarter of this year shows that Sligo recorded the highest vacancy rate, at 18%, followed by Leitrim at 16.2%.

Donegal’s vacancy rate was 15.1%.

Kerry had the lowest rate, at 10.6%.

At provincial level, Connacht had the highest average vacancy rate at 15.8%, an increase from 15.2% in the second quarter of 2016.

GeoDirectory also conducted an analysis of 102 locations, including 80 towns across the country as well as 22 Dublin postal districts.

Ballybofey in Co Donegal emerged as the town with the highest vacancy rate, at 28.8%

GeoDirectory was jointly established by An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland to create and manage Ireland’s only 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 the OSI.

The latest vacancy rate figures come on the back of recent shop closures locally in Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim and in Donegal Town, as well as commercial spaces continuing to remain vacant in major towns, including Sligo.

Despite an inprovement in the economy, 22 counties out of the 26 surveyed have had a rise in empty commercial properties since last year.