The Bedford Monopoly Board

Board games seem a thing of the past for youngsters nowadays with their consoles and mobile phones yet a family favourite in our household that will bring young and old together is Monopoly.

Mayfair is the square everyone wants to buy and whilst it is the most expensive to buy – it offers the greatest returns. Mayfair was the must have London address when the Monopoly board game was made in 1935 when, at the time, it was the most expensive street to buy houses at £400 each. A member of my family asked me what a property today would be worth in Mayfair and how much it would cost to buy them all. Readers will know I like a challenge. My research shows that a typical house in Mayfair today costs on average £2.8m – whilst the total value of all the property in the Mayfair area currently stands at £11.8bn.

The fun part of Monopoly was to build more houses and ultimately a hotel to extract the maximum rent from the other players who landed on the square. That made me think, instead of looking at the average value of a property on the street, what if we looked at the total value of property on the whole street. So, I carried out some research on all the 359 streets in MK40 and calculated the top 20 streets in terms of their total value of all properties on the street..  and just for fun, colour coded them as if they were on a Monopoly board  …

Mayfair and Park Lane are represented by Bromham Road and Castle Road.. no surprises there, yet there are some surprises in the mix including Chaucer Road and Shakespeare Road. They are rightly in the list because of the sheer size of those streets; because whilst the value of those homes are much lower than the posher streets, the total value of the whole street means they make the top 20 list

Now of course whilst drawing a comparison between a 1935 board game and the actual total house values on those Bedford streets and roads provides a light hearted point of view of the Bedford property market, it does present a credible picture of Bedford’s most popular streets. Next time I will get back to writing an article with a little more seriousness and deeper issues on the Bedford housing market … but this week, I hope you enjoyed my little bit of fun!