Christie & Co reports strong first-time buyer demand for private dental practices in London
This is evidenced through the recent completions of Marsh Lane Dental Practice, Manor Lodge Dental Practice, and a fully fitted vacant dental clinic on Wimpole Street. This is in addition to an increase more generally in enquiries, viewings and offers, and for similar opportunities across London.
Christie & Co witnessed a surge in demand for NHS and mixed-income dental practices from associate first-time buyers in the Spring/Summer 2020, which was driven by the pandemic and associates seeking income security through practice ownership. Whilst this appetite has no doubt continued well into 2021 - alongside the continued demand for larger scale practices of all types, fuelled by unabated growth plans and resources - the independent private practice market continues to demonstrate its own resilience in the wider context of practice sales.
The general rise in patient demand for private dental services over recent months continues to support practice revenue streams. This may have been fuelled by both the reduction in accessibility to NHS dental services due to the pandemic, as well as the growth in demand for cosmetic dentistry and private clinical services more widely.
Another driver for buyers looking to invest in the private dental market now, perhaps more so than ever, is the opportunity for further growth. This includes the introduction or expansion of cosmetic, aesthetic, or specialist private services, coupled with a foundation or solid history of private revenue.
Christie & Co has also noted an increase in those seeking to acquire their first opportunity, to be working with, teaming up, or partnering with one, or more individuals.
Marsh Lane Dental Practice in Stanmore, Greater London, is a good example of those drivers above. A fully private freehold opportunity with two operational surgeries on the ground floor and a third ‘plumbed’ room on the first floor, with potential for a fourth. It offered the opportunity for growth in existing revenue, development in services, as well as the prospects for physical expansion into additional surgery space, which meant it was an ideal opportunity for a first-time buyer. This practice sale was completed to brother and sister associate buyers, who saw the practice’s growth potential as the perfect opportunity to purchase and setup a ‘family practice’. The sale completed in May 2021 for an undisclosed sum.
Manor Lodge Dental Practice in Edgware, Greater London, sold to first-time associate buyers looking to partner for their first acquisition. This five-surgery, fully private practice, offering a range of general and cosmetic services, with a long-standing trading history in the same ownership, was being confidentially offered to the market as part of the owners’ retirement plans. Significant opportunities existed for further growth through the introduction of additional services and optimising surgery space. Following a highly competitive process pre-covid, terms were agreed and subsequently ‘paused’ over the initial lockdown period in 2020, with the sale successfully completing in March 2021 for an undisclosed sum.
Additionally, Christie & Co completed on the sale of a fully fitted, vacant dental clinic on Wimpole Street, London, to an associate first-time buyer looking to establish themselves in the heart of London’s Medical Quarter. The opportunity for a fully fitted clinic with low ongoing overheads presented as an ideal opportunity for a first-time associate buyer, who looking to acquire a turn-key site from which they could begin to offer clinical services almost immediately post-sale. The deal completed in June 2021 for an undisclosed sum.
Steve Darbon, director at Christie & Co, comments, “It is great to see this continued appetite from independent first-time buyers for private practice opportunities across Greater London. These buyers are increasingly recognising the great growth opportunities presented in the private market, which is really positive and illustrates the confidence that the dental sector continues to offer investors and buyers alike.”