From the Monopoly rulebook:

If there are a limited number of houses and hotels available and two or more players wish to buy more than the Bank has, the houses or hotels must be sold at auction to the highest bidder.

I don't quite understand this scenario. I thought that in Monopoly you could only build on your property on your own turn. Given that, I don't see how the scenario of two or more players trying to build at the same time could happen. Is my understanding of the rules incorrect? Is building houses on another player's turn allowed? If so, can it be done after the player rolls the dice and lands on your property?

  • You only pay rent for the number of houses that existed when you landed. Nov 27, 2017 at 21:36
  • Although it is nonsensical to think that I can purchase houses between "the moment you land on my property" and "the moment I ask you to pay me rent", I must admit that I cannot find anything in the rules (other than common sense) that would prevent this from happening.
    – hymie
    Dec 1, 2017 at 17:05

2 Answers 2


I always thought the same thing, but the rule book actually states:

Following the above rules, you may buy and erect at any time as many houses as your judgement and financial standing will allow


So, yes, the quoted scenario could happen

  • 2
    It's not uncommon to buy houses and hotels immediately after receiving a rent payment that increases a player's cash holdings. The houses and hotels need not go on the property that provided the rent. Nov 28, 2017 at 20:36
  • 1
    @JimMacKenzie: That "after" is well worth emphasizing. Nov 28, 2017 at 22:11

Yes indeed you can buy houses and hotels at any time. If there is a shortage of houses or hotels and more then one player wants to buy them from the bank, they must go to auction and the highest bidder gets them assuming the bid is higher then the purchase price from the bank (I.E. you can't buy a house on Boardwalk with a winning $150 bid as they cost $200 to buy but you could buy a house on Baltic avenue with a winning $150 bid as they cost $50). Once the dice are rolled resulting in a player heading towards a property, the rolling player pays rent on what was there before the dice where rolled. As a home rule procedure in my family, we have added that a player can yell out ''STOP THE GAME'' invest on a property then allow the rolling player to go ahead and roll the dice. This prevents a player from rushing their turn along while another is getting a drink or something.

  • 2
    Could you cite the rules around this to help substantiate this answer as correct? Jan 16, 2018 at 19:28
  • You do seem to have some very strange rules.
    – Chenmunka
    Jan 17, 2018 at 14:45
  • There is no rule that the bid must meet or exceed the list price of the house, just as there is no rule that you cannot buy Boardwalk at auction for less than $400 (or even $200, its mortgage value). The high demand for houses—after all, what started the auction was a shortage—will probably ensure that the houses will have high prices anyway. Nov 12, 2022 at 21:42

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