Splashing out on the pricey berry is to blame for property ladder difficulties, apparently
An Australian property mogul caused a social media firestorm Sunday night with seemingly out-of-touch comments regarding millennials on a talk show.
Tim Gurner, a real estate developer recently named Australia’s 157th richest person, suggested that millennials are forfeiting every opportunity to climb the housing ladder, using a somewhat flawed analogy involving a certain beloved tropical berry.
“When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for AUD19 and four coffees at AUD4 each,” Gurner told Channel Nine’s 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 travel to Europe every year. The people that own homes today worked very, very hard for it, saved every dollar, did everything they could to get up the property investment ladder.”
Twitter users were relentless in their takedown, saying that Gurner, worth USD473 million, was dealt different circumstances and had the financial backing of his grandfather in his property investments.
Avocado toast: $3,600
will someone good at the economy please help me budget this https://t.co/dtTkaBeDQ6
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) May 15, 2017
Avocado Toast $6.50
someone who is good at the economy please help me budget this. my family is dying https://t.co/p0SCdjHmTS
— Foghorn Greghorn (@grgdwyr) May 15, 2017
I was gonna put a down payment on a house last year but then I spent $44,000 on avocado toast https://t.co/SvSEisua71
— Snowbonk 201 199 165 (@Bowsnonk) May 15, 2017
— Ariel Edwards-Levy (@aedwardslevy) May 15, 2017
Alright, I did the math. If I stopped eating avocado toast every day, I would be able to afford a bad house in Los Angeles in 642 years. pic.twitter.com/nqhiqnQ07E
— Kaleb Horton (@kalebhorton) May 15, 2017
Avocado toast: $35,000
Someone good at the economy please help me budget this
— Murtaza Hussain (@MazMHussain) May 15, 2017
wow im so relieved that the reason i have no money isnt bc i never learned to handle money respkonsibly but its bc i bougt a avocado in 2008
— jomny sun (@jonnysun) May 16, 2017
When you spend all your money on avocado toast pic.twitter.com/VNGQ1Wdvv2
— NickSplat (@NickSplat) May 16, 2017
No bubble here, just everyone in my Twitter feed yapping about avocado toast.
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) May 15, 2017
Gurner, himself an older millennial at 35, has since hit back at his Twitter critics by recalling to News.com.au the “incredibly difficult” journey to his first real estate purchase.
“I spent every night on my hands and knees sanding back the floors, painting, renovating and working on the house,” he said of his first investment property, an apartment bought by his boss for AUD180,000 in Melbourne’s St Kilda. “When we sold it, I used the small profits of AUD12,000 to purchase my next property and it all grew from there. The most important thing for me was just to get my foot in the door at the absolute base level, and work my way up from there.
“I sacrificed a huge amount through those years, working multiple jobs, seven days a week and I saved absolutely every penny that I could.”
He clarified that his grandfather gave him USD34,000 as equity to obtain a USD150,000 loan, which he then used to buy a gym. He then sold the property after 12 months to a competitor.
“It was a huge risk and I worked round the clock from 6 am to 11 pm every night in order to pay back the loan and ensure the business was a success,” he said.
The Melbourne-based property development firm that bears his name runs a portfolio of 5,000 apartments worth USD2.7 billion.