Interactive map of the swathes of England owned by offshore tax-dodgers

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Real estate has been owned by holding companies for decades, maybe longer. Here in the US they were always Delaware corporations, but globalization means the Cayman Islands are more convenient than before.

Is something new here?

It’s not new, but it’s happening on a larger and more unequal scale than ever before.


One big difference is that most of Great Britain was owned by royals until VERY recently. I found it weird to learn as a young adult from the U.S. working there for a few years that when one “bought” a home in Britain, in most cases one was buying only the physical house plus a 99-year lease on the land, which was actually owned by the Queen or a Duke or somesuch.

So for the Crown to start selling off land – finally – but choose to sell it to non-UK citizens is newsworthy.


Interesting. That’s very different from the US, obviously. I wonder if the long-term effect will be more democratizing, or less?

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The Nitpicker here: it’s actually SWATHS of England…

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The big foreign owned thing near where I grew up is a massive quarry, appears to now be Canadian owned.

But looking at the village I’m from, some HK solar power company appears to be buying random houses in the area.

That’s probably part of some solar scheme- usually air rights, not the actual property.

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Yeah, I was just looking into that - sounds like they are fitting solar panels as part of a lease deal.

Also nitpicking, land owned by non UK registered companies isn’t always a tax dodge. Handlesbanken banks/offices show up on there for example. That said the majority that are registered to the IOM/Jersey/Guernsey and the BVI and often under some kind of anonymous sounding company? I’m pretty sure that 100% tax dodging.

Lots of care homes on there.

In England, it’s ‘swathes’, in the vast majority of cases.


That very much depends on where in the country the property is purchased. There are about 3 million leaseholders in the UK who are in reality not homeowners and fit into that category. However not everything is Crown owned and there are around 25 million households all told —of whom 7/10 are owner occupiers— so true freehold is common.

My father always said ‘Never buy a new car and never buy leasehold’. Good advice and I’ve stuck by it.

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Leasehold is common for flats. The freeholder usually appoints a managment company to manage the collection of service fees and ground rent. They tend to be even less scrupulous than estate agents :open_mouth:

What an utterly ridiculous article. The suggestion that everyone buying property through an offshore company makes them a tax dodger, an arms dealer or some other type of criminal is frankly moronic. What happened to the right to privacy in the UK. The notion of privacy seems to have been lost completely and your business is everyone’s business and I can fully understand these people wishing to protect their identity from these moronic journo’s who love poking their noses into everybody’s lives. When the tables are turned and they themselves get some grief, all we hear are squeals and how unfair it is. They need to write about something important and get off the bandwagon!

You’re working class or barely middle class, aren’t you? Someday, you too might be a kazillionaire, so it’s important to protect the fee-fees of the ones who are in that lofty position now, just in case.

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And welcome @BobFrench!

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