According to The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which will draft the register, £180m ($250.3m, €204m) worth of property has been brought under criminal investigation since 2004 as the suspected proceeds of corruption.
Over 75% of properties currently under investigation use offshore corporate secrecy – a tactic regularly seen by investigators pursuing high-level money laundering.
Business secretary Greg Clark said: “We are committed to protecting the integrity and reputation of our property market to ensure the UK is seen as an attractive business environment – a key part of our industrial strategy.
“This world-first register will build on our reputation for corporate transparency as well as helping to create a hostile environment for economic crimes like money laundering.”
The register will also provide greater transparency on overseas companies seeking government contracts.