The Government has launched a call for evidence into how a register of foreign-owned property in the UK could work.
The register would be the first of its kind in the world and would apply right across the UK. The information in it would be publicly accessible and free to view via Companies House.
The Government is seeking the views of, among others, estate agents.
Margot James, business minister, said: “We are committed to protecting the integrity and reputation of the UK property market and this register would be a valuable measure to increase transparency and investor confidence.
“The extension of transparency requirements, which UK owners are already subject to, levels the playing field and means we would know who owns and controls UK property wherever they are from.”
The register, aimed at preventing money laundering, has been welcomed by NAEA Propertymark.
Chief executive Mark Hayward said it would set a “gold standard for transparency”.
He added: “We will be working closely with our members to help them understand the requirements that will help shape the world’s first register of its kind.”
The call for evidence asks for views on a total of 28 questions and is open until May 15.