Real Estate

Millionaire says millennials should stop buying avocado in order to buy dream home

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A multimillionaire property magnate in Australia has told young people that if they want to get on the property ladder, they should stop spending so much money on avocado toast and coffee.

"When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn't buying smashed avocado for $19 ($15) and four coffees at $4 each," said Tim Gurner, 35, an Australian property tycoon who reportedly has almost half a billion dollars in the bank.

The millionaire 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.

The hidden costs of buying a home
The hidden costs of buying a home

He then went on to found his real estate company Gurner in 2015 and, according to 9news, currently has $3.8 billion worth of development projects.

In the interview, the 35-year-old stressed how hard he worked when he was young.

"When I had my first business when I was 19, I was in the gym at 6 a.m. in the morning, and I finished at 10.30 at night, and I did it seven days a week and I did it until I could afford my first home."


Gurner told the Australian television version of 60 minutes that the problem lay with reality TV stars who give millennials unrealistic expectations.

"This generation is watching the Kardashians and thinking that's normal – thinking owning a Bentley is normal. 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 said one ray of light for young people would be the huge transfer of wealth as baby boomers retired and grew old but added that this could take as long as 20 years to materialize.

The comments echo an editorial piece in The Australian newspaper last year in which Demographer Bernard Salt young people could better afford a home if they stopped spending all their money in expensive cafes.

"I have seen young people order smashed avocado with crumbled feta on five-grain toasted bread at $22 a pop and more. I can afford to eat this for lunch because I am middle aged and have raised my family.

"But how can young people afford to eat like this? Shouldn't they be economizing by eating at home? How often are they eating out? Twenty-two dollars several times a week could go towards a deposit on a house," he wrote.

U.S. congressman Jason Chaffetz also raised debate about where to prioritize income when he said Americans who couldn't afford health insurance should stop buying smartphones.