Aussie millionaire tells millennials stop spending on avocado toasts if you want to buy a house

Aussie millionaire tells millennials stop spending on avocado toasts if you want to buy a house
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Frequently named a superfood, avocados have been lauded for their health benefits - they offer almost 20 kinds of vitamins and minerals in each serving, are low in sugar and contain monounsaturated fat, which helps to lower bad cholesterol.

It is hence no wonder that avocados have become an increasingly popular choice amongst consumers, with avocados being used in all manner of dishes, from salads to sandwiches to rice.

However, the hapless avocado has now found itself in the middle of a heated standoff between millennials and an Australian millionaire.

Sounds exaggerated? Let's break it down.

On Monday (May 15), Australian millionaire and property mogul Tim Gurner said unnecessary spending on avocado toasts and other luxuries might be the reason why millennials are unable to afford a house.

"When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn't buying smashed avocado for $19 (S$19.60) and four coffees at $4 each," he told Australian news show 60 Minutes.

"We're at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high.

"They want to eat out every day, they want to travel to Europe every year.

"The people that own homes today worked very, very hard for it (and) saved every dollar, did everything they could to get up the property investment ladder."

While there are no statistics for home ownership rates of Singaporean millennials, a study by HSBC in February found that Malaysian millennials have a home ownership rate of 35 per cent, while Australian millennials have a home ownership rate of about 28 per cent.

Australian millionaire and property mogul Tim Gurner said unnecessary spending on avocados and other luxuries might be the reason why millennials are unable to afford a house.

Gurner's comment has drawn flak from millennials, many of whom have taken up arms online to protest his generalisation. 

They pointed out that even if they were to stop eating avocado, it would still not be enough for them to afford a house, due to high housing prices.

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Others mocked the comment with comebacks of their own.

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While we feel that Gurner had a point when he said money spent on luxuries could be saved up for big-ticket expenses like a house, we feel that using an example like avocados and coffee might have been too far a stretch.

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Sure, little things may make big things grow, but from a practical standpoint, the cost of an avocado and a coffee cannot be compared to the cost of a house, much less be blamed for millennials' inability to afford a house of their own.

pariel@sph.com.sg

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