Kilrush has the highest rate of vacant commercial premises in Munster at 24.7% while Shannon is second with 23.6%. Nationally, both County. Clare towns are listed among the top five places for vacant commercial properties from 100 locations including 80 towns.
GeoDirectory compiles accurate location information throughout Ireland. Its recent GeoView Report on commercial vacancy rates was published recently taking account of the State’s 212,717 commercial properties.
There has been much talk lately that Ireland has emerged from a lost decade of recession. That may well be true of some places, most notably Dublin, but it’s certainly not the case in other parts of the country.
The GeoDirectory survey confirms that economic activity is still in decline in rural Ireland. The vacancy rates in Kilrush and Shannon are surprisingly high given that the overall rate for County Clare is 14.7%, Munster is 13.1% while the national figure is slightly higher at 13.5%.
If the recession was over, some signs of recovery should be apparent. In reality vacancy rates further declined by 1.6% in Shannon and 1.3% in Kilrush over the last year. Overall County Clare has 5,137 occupied commercial units. Ennis has the highest number with 1,155 while Shannon has 233 and Kilrush 215.
Regards usage, 43.8% of units in Shannon are for service industry use, compared to 43.4% in Ennis and 41.4% in Kilrush. Shannon’s best occupancy sectors are Distribution (43.8%0; distribution (20.6%) and Health (9.4). However, industry and finance feature relatively strongly at 6.9% and 6.4% respectively.
The most vacant town in Ireland is Ballybofey in Co. Donegal with a vacancy rate of 31.3%, outstripping Edenderry, Co. Offaly, who held the unwanted title last year. One causal issue identified in Ballybofey is the high levels of commercial rates, a common element with both Shannon and Kilrush. Another significant issue affecting Co. Clare has been the loss of Shannon Development as a regional development agency.