Knowing which are the best properties to buy is one of the best strategies you’ll need to win a game of Monopoly. And, truth be told, some properties are much better than others!
In this guide which is specific to the UK Monopoly board, I’ll show you exactly which properties you should be aiming for, and which you should steer clear of.
I also have a US version of this guide here.
The Best Monopoly Properties
The best properties to buy in Monopoly are the Oranges (Bow Street, Marlborough Street and Vine Street). The Orange spaces are landed on more than any other colour set as they are located 6, 8 and 9 spaces after the popular Jail space.
As well as being landed on frequently, the Orange spaces also offer one of the highest Return on Investment (ROI) of all of the colour sets.
But, if you don’t manage to bag the Oranges, don’t worry. There are some other colours that you should also snap up should you land on them. Read on to find out which they are…
Why are some Monopoly properties better to buy?
When working out which are the best colours to buy in Monopoly, there are five things that you should consider:
Which spaces are landed on the most?
The most landed on space in Monopoly is the Jail space, followed by Trafalgar Square, the Go space, Vine Street and Fenchurch Street Station.
This table shows the probability of landing on each space, per roll:
|Fenchurch Street Station||–||3.0659|
|Kings Cross Station||–||2.9631|
|Liverpool Street Station||–||2.4326|
|Euston Road||Light Blue||2.321|
|Pentonville Road||Light Blue||2.3003|
|The Angel Islington||Light Blue||2.2621|
|Old Kent Road||Purple||2.1314|
|Go To Jail||–||0|
This data comes from a computer simulation of 32 billion rolls which takes into account all of the rules, including being sent to a space because of a Chance Card, Community Chest card or some other reason. It assumes that players use the strategy of always paying to get out of jail.
Which Monopoly colour is landed on most often?
The most commonly landed on Monopoly colour set is the Oranges (Bow Street, Marlborough Street and Vine Street). The three Orange spaces are all in the top five most landed on properties (if you exclude non-coloured spaces like stations, Free Parking and Jail).
The reason why people land on the Orange spaces so much is that they go to Jail quite often and then when they come out, the Oranges are right there waiting to be landed on.
This table shows the probability of landing on each colour, per roll:
Note that the Dark Blue and Brown sets have the lowest overall chance of being landed on. This is because these colours only have two spaces in the set, whereas the others have three. Dark Blue and Brown aren’t necessarily bad colours to pick, as they have other advantages.
Which colour sets are the easiest to get?
In Monopoly, the Dark Blue and Brown sets are the easiest to complete as these sets have only two properties in them, whereas all of the other colour sets require you to collect three properties.
So, if you land on Mayfair, Park Lane, Old Kent Road or Whitechapel Road, you should probably buy these as you will then be only one card away from completing a set and being able to start building houses.
Suggested read: The Rules For Buying Houses in Monopoly
Out of the colour sets that require three properties for a full set, the easiest sets to complete are those that are the easiest to land on. This is Orange, followed by Red and then Yellow.
How much rent can be claimed?
In Monopoly, each property has a different rent price as stated on the Title Deed card. Rents vary from £2 for Old Kent Road to £50 for Mayfair. If you have a full set you can claim double rent. Once you add houses and hotels, rents increase further.
While the Brown properties are cheap to buy and easy to collect a full set, you’re really not going to make much by collecting rent. At £2 or £4 a go, these cards aren’t going to do anything for you. Unless you can build houses and hotels, they’re practically worthless.
On the other hand, you can claim £50 each time someone lands on Mayfair and £35 for Park Lane. These rents will be doubled if you own both. So, even if you can’t afford to buy houses yet, a rent claim of £100 can still be pretty lucrative.
How much are houses on each property?
In Monopoly, the cost of each house varies from £50 to £200, depending on the colour of the property.
The high cost of building houses on the Greens and Dark Blues can be very prohibitive towards building, which may be a reason not to choose these sets.
Conversely, it’s often possible to go straight to hotels on the Browns, as it would cost just £500 to do so. This is less than adding one house to each Green property!
Which properties have the best return on investment?
At the end of the day, choosing the best Monopoly properties all comes down to your Return on Investment (ROI). Playing Monopoly is just like running a business in that respect.
What makes Monopoly fun is that the ROIs for each property are complicated, so the best that most players can do is make their best guess in each decision-making situation throughout the game.
Of course, if you had a real business, you’d do the analysis to help you make the best decisions, wouldn’t you?
To help you win at Monopoly, I’ve run the analysis of all of the properties, considering the cost of buying, the cost of houses and hotels, the rental yields and the probabilities of landing.
But before we get into that, I must mention that the ROI for a colour set will change considerably depending on whether the set is undeveloped, has houses or has hotels.
Building hotels as fast as you can is rarely the best strategy, so you’ll want to think about that carefully as part of your tactics to win.
The Return on Investment with No Houses
When no houses are added, the most expensive Monopoly properties (Dark Blues) have the highest return on investment and the cheapest ones (Browns) have the lowest. It’s pretty straightforward.
|Color Set||Average ROI (undeveloped)|
Without any houses or hotels, you’re unlikely to make a profit no matter which colour set you buy. To win at Monopoly, you’ll need to build.
The property with the highest return on investment (ROI) when undeveloped is Mayfair, which has an ROI of 12.5%. You would need another player to land on Mayfair eight times to make your money back.
The property with the lowest ROI when undeveloped is Old Kent Road with an ROI of just 3.3%. You’d need the other players to land on it at least 30 times to make your money back!
The Return on Investment with 3 Houses
Monopoly experts see having three houses on a set as the ‘holy grail’ because having three houses generates a great return on investment without having to spend too much cash.
For the Green and Dark Blue colour sets, the ROI from three houses is actually greater than it is if you have hotels. So you probably don’t want to add more than three houses to these properties unless you have lots of spare cash lying around.
Once you start adding houses, the ROI scale is no longer linear from the cheapest to most expensive properties. This is because the properties with the highest rents also have high building costs.
The following table shows the ROI for Monopoly colour sets with three houses:
|Color Set||Average ROI (3 houses)|
The ROI is calculated with the following equation:
(Sum of rent with 3 houses for each property in set) / ((Purchase price of set) + (Price of 3 houses))
With three houses, the Monopoly colour set with the best ROI is the Dark Blue set (Park Lane and Mayfair), followed by the Orange set (Bow Street, Marlborough Street and Vine Street) and then the Yellow set (Leicester Square, Coventry Street and Piccadilly).
Eagle-eyed players will notice that all the best sets are the second colour along on each side of the board.
The Return on Investment with Hotels
The return on investment of properties with hotels is another important ROI metric to consider.
While buying hotels on the Green and Dark Blue sets is usually a waste of money, it’s usually a good idea on the cheaper sets like the Browns and Light Blues.
The following table shows the ROI for Monopoly colour sets with hotels:
|Color Set||Average ROI for set (with hotels)|
The ROI is calculated with the following equation:
(Sum of rent with a hotel for each property in set) / ((Purchase price of set) + (Price of hotels))
When hotels are added, the Monopoly colour set with the best ROI is the Light Blue set (The Angel Islington, Euton Road and Pentonville Road), followed by the Orange set (Bow Street, Marlborough Street and Vine Street) and then Dark Blue set (Park Lane and Mayfair).
When hotels are added, the Monopoly colour set with the worst ROI is the Green set (Regent Street, Oxford Street and Bond Street).
The Best Properties to Own in Monopoly
To work out what are the best properties to own in Monopoly, the two most important things to consider are:
- The chance of a player landing on the property in a given turn
- The return on investment with three houses
I multiplied these two elements together to get an average ROI% for each property with three houses, for each roll of the dice.
This table shows which are the best properties to buy in Monopoly:
|Property||Colour||Average ROI per roll (with 3 houses)|
|Pentonville Road||Light Blue||2.56%|
|Park Lane||Dark Blue||2.53%|
|Vermont Avenue||Light Blue||2.51%|
|Euston Road||Light Blue||2.44%|
|Old Kent Road||Brown||0.91%|
The Best Colour Sets in Monopoly
While it’s nice to know which are the best Monopoly properties to own, it’s actually more useful to know which are the best colours to go for. After all, you need a full colour set to be able to earn any decent rents.
If we take an average of the return on investment (with three houses) of each property in a colour set, we can rank the Monopoly colours in order from best to worst.
This table shows which are the best colours to buy in Monopoly:
|Colour||Average ROI per roll (with 3 houses)|
The best colour set to buy in Monopoly is the Oranges. If you can’t get that, then the Dark Blues, the Reds and the Yellows would also make good options.
Monopoly Property FAQs
The cheapest Monopoly properties are the first ones after the Go space – the Browns and then the Light Blues. This edge of the board also has the cheapest houses at just £50 each to buy
The most expensive Monopoly property is Mayfair. It costs £400 to buy. Once you add a hotel you can charge a maximum rent of £2,000 to anyone who lands on it.
The Monopoly colour set with the biggest payout is the Dark Blue set (Park Lane and Mayfair). This set is also the most expensive to purchase and has the most expensive houses at £200 each to buy.
The least landed on property in Monopoly is Old Kent Road. As the first space on the board, there’s only a 2.1314% chance of landing on it on any given turn.
The Monopoly utilities aren’t a good purchase as the chance of landing on them is relatively low and your opponents will need to land on them at least five times before you make a return on your investment.
Read more about the Monopoly utilities.
These detailed calculations have shown us that the Orange set is the best colour to own in Monopoly.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should be laser-focused on getting the Oranges! It’s perfectly possible to win a game of Monopoly with any colour set, particularly if you’re good at negotiating trades and are lucky with your rolls of the dice.
If you really want to win at Monopoly, I suggest you check out this guide next: Monopoly Trading Strategies to Win.