Christie & Co associate director Steve O’Connor speaks to Practice Plan’s Nigel Jones about the varied picture of the practice sales market in 2023.
To borrow a football analogy, last year was a year of two halves for the practice sales market. After a slow first half of 2023, there was an uptick in activity and optimism during the second half. Although, difficulties regarding recruitment continue to rear their ugly heads.
Steve attributes the slow first half to the dizzying speed with which interest rates were increasing, causing buyers to become hesitant to purchase hoping things might improve. However, as inflation fell and the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee chose not to increase rates any further, confidence returned to the market, along with an acceptance that the days of near zero interest rates were over and unlikely to return soon.
‘Shift in patient attitudes’
Inflation saw rising costs exert an influence over prices as well as the types of practices that have proven popular with buyers during the period covered by the review. While NHS practices have always, and continue to attract buyers, their inability to pass on increased costs to patients by raising fees has seen their popularity eclipsed by mixed and fully private practices. The shift in patient attitudes towards paying for private dentistry has also fuelled greater activity in this area.
Steve acknowledges that difficulty recruiting associates, hygienists and nurses and the desire to retain good team members have contributed to an increase in staff costs this year which has also affected the bottom line of many practices. In the light of this he foresees the next 12 months being a period where the profession resets and adjusts to its new position before. He hopes we will see improved market activity following that.
If you’re considering your options away from the NHS and looking for a provider who will hold your hand through the process at a pace that’s right for you, why not start the conversation with Practice Plan on 01691 684165 or book your one-to-one NHS to private call today practiceplan.co.uk/nhsvirtual?
For more information visit practiceplan.co.uk/nhs.