Registers of Scotland releases ownership statistics and new overseas company report

Published: 27 February 2018

Registers of Scotland (RoS) releases its overseas company report today.

This new dataset contains information about all properties owned or leased in Scotland by overseas companies and is an addition to the existing range of data services available from RoS. To accompany the release of this report a new statistical report has also been developed containing high level statistics related to the country of origin of purchasers in Scotland.

The first overseas company report provides details of any identifiable Land Register title, as at 31 December 2017, where the registered legal owner (or tenant under a long term commercial lease) is a company. There are over 1,700 titles listed in the report, equating to about 0.1 per cent of all land register titles.

RoS business development and information director Kenny Crawford said: “We are pleased to be building on our data provision with the introduction of the overseas company report. This report is part of a programme of developments within RoS aiming to make the data we hold more accessible..”

“The creation of this report also opens up greater possibilities for wider analysis on who is purchasing property in Scotland, particularly in relation to buyers who are not based in Scotland. The accompanying statistical release is the culmination of a an ongoing programme of data  improvement that will continue to open up opportunities for future data analysis.”

The overseas company report is created using the address provided for the purchaser when the sale of the property is submitted for registration in the land register. This analysis shows that, on 31 December 2017, there were 15,029 titles in Scotland for which one or more of the registered buyers or tenants had an address outside of the UK at the time of purchase (including UK overseas territories). Of this total, as demonstrated in the chart below, 11.7 per cent were overseas companies, 83.2 per cent were individuals, 4.6 per cent were other legal entities, such as partnerships and trusts, and 0.5 per cent were mixed ownership between companies, other legal entities and individuals.

Land register title owned outwith the UK

Of the titles in which foreign companies held an interest, 12.4 per cent related to tenants under a commercial lease and 87.6 per cent were proprietors.

The data indicates that the purchasers/tenants originate from 153 countries around the world. The top 10 countries by the origin of the purchaser/tenant are shown in the table below.

Countries of origin table

More companies purchasing or leasing in Scotland came from Jersey than anywhere else, while USA was the most popular country of source for individuals buying property.

The most popular areas for purchasers/tenants from abroad to buy or lease are Renfrewshire, equating to 18.7 per cent of the overseas market, Fife, equating to 8.1 per cent of the market, Highland, equating to 6.5 per cent of the market, the City of Edinburgh, equating to 5.6 per cent of the market, and Glasgow City, equating to 5.0 per cent of the market.

Further information about the overseas company report, what it contains and what it costs are available in our information sheet.


Notes to editors

  1. For further information, please telephone Jacq Kelly on 07825 388 120 or email, or contact us at: Communications, Registers of Scotland, Meadowbank House, 153 London Road, Edinburgh, EH8 7AU.
  2. Registers of Scotland (RoS) is the government department responsible for compiling and maintaining registers relating to property and other legal documents in Scotland. RoS records and safeguards the rights of the individual while providing open access to information on the registers.
  3. RoS began compiling quarterly statistics on the housing market with the completion of the extension of the Land Register to all counties in Scotland in April 2003. RoS also contributes to the UK House Price Index, in partnership with the Office of National Statistics, HM Land Registry and Land & Property Services Northern Ireland.
  4. The most recent RoS 10-year property market report was published in June 2017, detailing trends in the land and property market over the last ten years.
  5. The statistics have been produced in accordance with the Code of Practice for official statistics.
  6. The overseas company report and the statistical release, will be updated on a 6-monthly basis.


  1. The report does not include titles in the Sasines Register.
  2. Other legal entities such as partnerships and trusts are not included.
  3. There are around 2.7 million land parcels in Scotland, over 1.7 million of which are in the Land Register as at December 2017.