Sliced avocado on toasted bread

Photo via Your Best Digs/Flickr (CC-BY)

Millennials can’t afford houses because of avocado toast, millionaire says

It's delicious, but is it a bad investment (probably not).

May 15, 2017, 6:05 pm*

Internet Culture

Jay Hathaway 

Jay Hathaway

A favorite pastime of older generations is to wag a finger at millennials struggling to achieve adult milestones in the shitty financial world those older generations created. First, they were mystified that millennials weren’t buying diamonds, and now they’re claiming that kids can’t afford homes because they eat too much avocado toast.

Seriously: a multimillionaire “property tycoon” in Australia has blamed young folks’ lower rates of homeownership on their propensity to consume pricey toast topped with smashed avocado.

“When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each,” Tim Gurner told the Australian 60 Minutes.

“We’re at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high,” he added. “They want to eat out every day, they want travel to Europe every year.”

Millennials, however, are sick of hearing that they don’t work hard enough and that previous generations were somehow more deserving of necessities like housing.  Especially considering that the criticism often comes from those who had family wealth to get them started.

Like, for example, Tim Gurner.

Could there be some other reason, aside from their love of brunch, that millennials don’t all run out and buy houses today? Hmm.

https://twitter.com/samknight1/status/864187857472299008

Nah, it’s definitely the avocados. I mean, it’s just basic math …

https://twitter.com/grgdwyr/status/864176581069111296

Seriously, though: even if people in their 20s and 30s ate avocado toast for every meal, giving it up would not bring them significantly closer to homeownership.

Proving that you don’t have to understand the housing market at all to become a real estate millionaire, Gurner has failed to take into account that real household income hasn’t significantly increased since those hardworking past generations bought their houses but home prices certainly have. Or that millennials are burdened with historic levels of student debt, putting home buying out of reach until they’re much older.

And even for those who could afford to buy, a home isn’t always the smartest financial decision.

Gurner’s general out-of-touchness is being mocked all over Twitter. He’s even drawing comparisons to Eric Garland’s infamous “it’s time for some game theory” rant after Donald Trump was elected:

 

It would be funny if the reality of the housing market weren’t so depressing. Consider that maybe avocado toast is the only thing that keeps us functional as we participate in a sad, broken economic system.

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*First Published: May 15, 2017, 3:01 pm