Church Street, Athlone.

One in five commercial units in Athlone is vacant, report says

Athlone has the highest rate of vacant commercial units in Westmeath, with almost one in every five premises (19%) lying idle at the end of 2020.

That's according to the latest GeoView Commercial Property Report published by GeoDirectory and EY-DKM today.

The report showed that Athlone's 19% commercial vacancy rate was significantly higher than the national average of 13.5%.

It was also among the highest vacancy rates in the Midlands, though the proportion of empty units was higher still in Edenderry (27.5%), Edgeworthstown (26.9%), Longford town (23.2%) and Roscommon town (20.7%).

Elsewhere in Westmeath, Moate had a commercial vacancy rate of 14.8%, while the figure in Mullingar was 13.9%.

Meath was the county with the lowest commercial vacancy rate (10.1%), while Sligo had the highest rate (19.9%)

Some 12.5% of all commercial units in Westmeath were classified as providing accommodation and food services.

GeoDirectory said the findings of its report suggested the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the commercial property landscape in Ireland has not yet been fully realised.

However, key trends and indicators are beginning to emerge, with an increase in commercial vacancy rates recorded in 19 counties in the final quarter of 2020 when compared with the same period a year earlier.

The seven counties with the highest commercial vacancy rates were all located along the west coast of Ireland, with almost one-in-five commercial properties vacant in Sligo (19.9%), the highest in the country.

With the exception of Kildare (14.4%), all counties in the Greater Dublin Area registered commercial vacancy rates lower than the national average, with Meath (10.1%) recording the lowest rate.

In the capital itself, the vacancy rate fell marginally by 0.1% to 11.9%.

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