Portadown highest for vacant shops
The research conducted by commercial property agency Lisney found that 20.6% of the town's shops were empty with Bangor coming second with 19.3%.
Northern Ireland was found to be lagging behind the UK as a whole with the total percentage of empty shops reaching 14.4% compared to the British Retail Consortium's UK rate of 11.2%.
Craigavon had the lowest rate of empty retail spaces followed by Cookstown and Newry.
The survey also found that one in 10 shops are vacant in Newtownards, Omagh, Londonderry and Enniskillen.
Declan Flynn, managing director of Lisney, said that the Republic of Ireland was a significant competitor in the property stakes for Northern Ireland despite rents being significantly lower in the region.
He said: "Obviously a reduction in corporation tax would place Northern Ireland on a much stronger footing, but there are other issues needing addressed. Our town and city centres have already been impacted badly by the downturn in the economy and competition from out of town shopping, online retailing and supermarkets."
The survey revealed that rents for shops in Northern Ireland have dropped by between 30% and 50% since since 2007.
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