26 Aug 2019  •  Buying and selling a dental practice, Practice Management  •  3min read

Location, location, location – how the dental practice market varies by region

If purchasing a dental practice is at the top of your wish list, you might be interested to know the regional trends that are currently influencing practice sales and valuations. Recent market analysis, conducted by specialist dental sales agents Christie & Co (Christie), provides interesting insight into which types of practices are in greatest demand and who is buying them.

There is currently major demand for all types of dental practices in London and the Home Counties and the South of England, particularly Hampshire and Sussex. According to Christie, there has been a recent shift in appetite for more private-led practices where margins are less constrained, while the market is still underpinned by the stable revenue that NHS income provides. In the Midlands, practice sales prices remain high but the area is attracting a younger generation of dentists who are eager to enter practice ownership.

An interesting trend sweeping the North of England has been the rise of new entrants entering the region, including private equity backed groups, which Christie anticipate may trigger a surge of transactional activity in major cities such as Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Newcastle. Meanwhile in Scotland, the landscape for principal owners looking to sell is buoyant due to demand outstripping supply and financial lenders offering strong support to prospective buyers.

More than just location

In addition to considering the geographical location of your chosen dental practice, its proximity to public amenities can be critical to your business’s success. Practices situated close to busy town centres, affluent areas, good schools and with accessible transport links will command a higher premium and attract many interested buyers. It’s also imperative to ascertain whether your preferred practice has adequate on-site parking and relevant planning permissions in place should you wish to carry out refurbishments, or extend the practice building to create room for more surgeries.

Fortune favours the brave

Specialist financial providers can provide step-by-step support to dentists looking to acquire a dental practice, as well as providing the necessary financial solutions to help you maximise growth and profitability once the sale has been completed. These will include flexible finance products to support the expansion of a practice to offer new patient treatments, including payment-over-time solutions to enable practice owners to invest in innovative dental equipment and IT software to enhance patient services.

Despite practice goodwill values currently fluctuating, the dental practice market remains strong with demand continuing to outstrip supply. Given that specialist funding solutions are now much more accessible in the dental sector, prospective buyers should consider making their move sooner rather than later to avoid potentially missing out on their dream business.

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