Belfast Telegraph

Movement in sector as Northern Ireland nursing homes go on sale

By Margaret Canning

Two nursing homes in Armagh and west Belfast are up for sale as activity picks up in the sector.

The sales of the homes, which have not been identified, are being handled by a private agent.

Industry specialist Mark O'Kane of O'Kane Commercial said consolidation was taking place in the sector.

The property adviser said that the financial difficulties at UK care home giant Four Seasons had also led to a number of sales.

Last year the company announced it was closing seven homes in Northern Ireland - although three of those, in Antrim, Ballynahinch and Armagh, have been bought over by operators from here.

And last month, international credit agency Moody's said Four Seasons' financial structure was "unsustainable". However, the company still operates 62 homes throughout the province.

But Mr O'Kane said Northern Ireland operators were stepping in where big GB firms were leaving. "It's a very specialist sector and it's not just like any other property deal," he said.

"We are having local operators stepping in and growing their portfolios because they have the expertise to run them."

Belfast Telegraph