An Australian real estate tycoon has a simple and controversial advice for millennials struggling to purchase their first home - stop spending on avocado toast and coffee
35-year-old Tim Gurner, who made a fortune by developing luxury properties in Melbourne, said unnecessary spending on avocado toast and coffee 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 (avocado toast) for AUD19 (RM51) and four coffees at AUD4 (RM12) each," he said as quoted by 9News.
"We are coming into a new reality where... a lot of people won’t own a house in their lifetime. That is just the reality."
When asked by the interviewer if he believes young people will never own a home, he has this to say, "Absolutely, when you’re spending AUD40 (RM128) a day on smashed avocados and coffees and not working. Of course."
He also implied that reality shows like 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians' are giving people the impression that the lavish lifestyle is easy and within arms reach.
"This generation is watching the Kardashians and thinking that's normal - thinking owning a Bentley is normal."
Gurner then gave an example, describing how hard he used to work back in the day
"When I had my first business when I was 19, I was in the gym at 6.00am 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.
"There were no discussions around, could I go out for breakfast, could I go out for dinner. I just worked," he said in the 2-minute clip.
Saving money is generally the best tip when it comes to purchasing a new home, but Gurner's advice have rubbed people the wrong way, including an Oxford scholar
"It’s never been harder for young and ordinary people to make a start. If you’re looking at AUD1.5 million (RM4.8 million) for a house in an outer Sydney suburb - a pretty ordinary house - then something is seriously wrong with the housing market," she commented.
On social media, millennials criticised Gurner's 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.
While Gurner's comment is targeted at Australians, it could be adapted to Malaysians as well
With the blooming cafe scene in Malaysia, it's normal to see coffee joints packed with millennials during the weekends
A cup of coffee from these cafes costs an average of RM11. For food, it's pretty common for one to pay RM20 and above for a plate of spaghetti.
A full meal in any of these places could easily run up to RM40.
But to be fair, most of these meals are an occasional indulgence.
Spending wisely in the long run definitely makes a difference, but there are a lot of factors that contribute to millennials' inability to purchase houses
"The greatest challenges are in those countries where there is a perfect storm of stagnating salaries and rising house prices - for millennials in those countries, the dream, while not dead, looks set to be deferred," said Louisa Cheang, HSBC's Global Head of Retail Banking.