11/8/20 – Fall and rise of dental practice opportunities during COVID-19

Demand for practices was very strong at the start of the year, and despite NHS practices being valued quite high, there was a drift seen last year towards private dental practices with some NHS dentists wanting to move over and others seeing this as a way to develop income bearing in mind the limitations of the NHS contract to growth.

With the onset of Covid, interest fell away and many prospective purchasers were put on hold. Since the end of lockdown despite the obvious restrictions placed on dentists with regard to the number of patients to be seen and the down time required to clear aerosol from surgeries, enquiries have started to rise back to their pre-Covid levels. Some see this as an opportunity to buy cheaply / some as a time to get out of the NHS, and others, mostly younger dentists, have a desire to grow their own income potential.

‘Start-ups’ were popular last year as the cheaper alternative to gain a foothold in the private dental market. The dental market specialist advisors, Samera, sourced finance for 8-10 practices last year with a couple still to complete their financing. COVID has put a brake on the market but this appears to be a temporary sitaution, with interest in start-up practices still strong. With uncertainty as to what will happen with regard to the NHS contract and the desire to move away from the pressure of UDA’s (units of dental activity), private purchases and start-ups will remain popular. Start-ups are attractive as they are relatively cheap to set up – circa £150 -250K to design your own practice and fit-out with the right equipment to meet new regulations – and they enable the dentist to build their own goodwill and hit projections if they are structured and set up correctly.

If you would like to talk to us about your property requirements, please contact Niall O’Regan on 020 7907 3722 or via email to niall.oregan@argroup.co.uk.