Money

Millionaire tells millennials: If you stopped buying avocado toast, you could afford a home

Brunch may be overpriced — and it may also be the reason so many millennials aren't buying homes.

That's the contention of 35-year-old Melbourne millionaire and property mogul Tim Gurner, who appeared on a recent episode of Australia's "60 Minutes." He scolded the younger members of his generation for their unrealistic, YOLO "expectations" and for spending too much on indulgent lifestyles early on in their careers.

What they're doing, ultimately, is frittering away money on "smashed avocado" and lattes that they should be saving, he said.

"When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn't buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each," he said.

"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 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."

Gurner blames reality TV: "This generation is watching the Kardashians and thinking that's normal, thinking owning a Bentley is normal," he said.

Self-made millionaire Grant Cardone recently made a similar point for CNBC when he told millennials, "Don't travel — yet." He wrote:

"When you don't know what you should be doing, it's easy to put life on hold and backpack abroad staying in hostels and eating ramen.

"What I want to do is inspire millennials to work hard now so they can travel the world in style later.

"If you're going to waste time at a job you hate trading hours for dollars, not trying to learn and grow, then you might as well go and waste a few months traveling around southeast Asia. Either way, you're not building your future."

And David Bach, author of "The Automatic Millionaire," tells CNBC "that not prioritizing homeownership is 'the single biggest mistake millennials are making.'"

Millennials in general are indeed buying fewer homes than members of previous generations did. They are also, however, coping with flat salaries and the skyrocketing prices of fixed costs like college, health care and rent.

Predictably, the reaction from young people on Twitter was scathing.

Owning is even more expensive than renting in every state in the U.S. The income needed to buy a home in many American cities is substantial.

As a result, first-time home buyers in America, The New York Times reports, are overwhelmingly white (79 percent), born in this country (78 percent) and child-free (60 percent) but still married (58 percent). The median first-time home buyer makes $72,000 a year.

Millennials who can buy, in other words, are fortunate in many key respects. And, as The Atlantic reports, they are also often those lucky enough to have inherited wealth or able to borrow from their families.

Coincidentally, as local Australian TV station 9 News reports, that is exactly how Gurner got started:

"Mr Gurner began his career as a property investor after purchasing a gym in Melbourne's south in 2001 with the help of $34,000 borrowed from his grandfather.

"He then went on to found his real estate company Gurner in 2015. Gurner currently has $3.8 billion worth of projects in the works, among them a number of inner-city luxury apartments."

See also: This 30-year-old owes almost $100,000 and spends $1,100 a month on takeout