Property developer Tim Gurner, who told 60 Minutes that Australian millennials need to stop buying $4 coffees and travelling if they want to buy homes, has now received considerable backlash on social media.
Gurner was speaking to 60 minutes in a segment exploring Australia’s housing affordability crisis, a backdrop that made his comments - which revisited the idea of young people wasting money on expensive coffee and smashed avo - seem particularly tone deaf.
“When I was buying my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for 19 bucks and four coffees at $4 each,” he said.
Although the price of avocados has been a hot topic in the wake of US President Trump’s political machinations and despite an avocado shortage in California, Mexico and Peru, experts say Australia’s avocado prices should be largely unaffected. The average Hass avocado cost $1.70 in April this year, and is expected to cost $2.80-$3 next year.
So while avocado prices are rising, social media users and responding articles have been quick to point out that other issues faced by millennials, such as stagnant wage growth, high cost student loans and a national housing crisis could potentially also be to blame.
Gurner, who at 35 is worth nearly half a billion dollars, bought in Melbourne and Brisbane, avoiding the sky high prices of the Sydney market, and his company now has 5,000 apartments worth a total of $2.7 billion on its books. He said his strategies included not trying to compete with Asian developers, maintaining income from rentals and being a perfectionist. And, of course, inheriting wealth.
Much of the contention on social media came from the fact that Gurner got his start in property using $34,000 gifted to him by his grandfather.
This made comments, such as “..until this generation realises that the people that own homes today worked very, very hard for it, saved every dollar, did everything they could to get up the property ladder (they won’t get ahead),” hard to digest for young Aussies struggling to enter the property market.
While giving up coffee and avocados may not help young buyers break into the increasingly competitive housing market, a low rate home loan just might. If you’re considering taking the plunge and entering the property market, head over to see the home loans on offer with our handy comparison tool.