The total number of new residential and commercial buildings built across the country last year was 12,541, new figures show.

This marks a 2% increase from 2011, when a total of 12,237 new buildings were added to the GeoDirectory database.

It also marks a 87% drop on the record high of 96,000 new buildings added in 2007.

GeoDirectory was established by An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland to create and manage a complete database of commercial and residential buildings. 

The figures are gathered through the An Post network of 5,600 delivery staff working with the OSI.

Breaking down the figures, of the 12,541 new buildings last year, 10,919 were residential, 1,245 were commercial and 375 were dual purpose buildings with both residential and commercial components.

14 counties - Clare, Cork, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Sligo, Tipperary and Wexford - all saw increases in the amount of new builds last year.

Today's figures also show that 1,588, or 12%, of this new commercial and residential buildings are vacant.

GeoDirectory noted a 25% decrease in the number of commercial buildings with 1,245 recorded in 2012 compared to the 2011 figure of 1,661.

''The end of year figures for 2012 highlight a small increase in building activity,'' commented GeoDirectory's chief executive Dara Keogh.

''The figures for 2012 and 2011 indicate a bottoming out of the downward curve, and a levelling off of the decrease in building activity. This positive trend is supported by growth in new additions across 14 counties, with Cork City and Country recording the largest number of new buildings,'' he added.

However, he said the commercial sector has sustained its downward trend in the number of new additions over the past five years, from a peak of 4,458 in 2007 to 1,245 buildings in 2012.