An Australian property tycoon has some blunt advice for millennials struggling to get enough money together for a house: cut out the avocados.
Millionaire Tim Gurner said young people should stop frittering their money away on “smashed avocado and coffees” and concentrate on what really matters if they are serious about wanting their own home.
Speaking to Australian TV’s 60 Minutes, he also implied that young people today were not prepared to put in the long, hard hours to make something of themselves.
The 35-year-old, who is based in Melbourne and responsible for some £3 billion-worth of property projects, was asked if it was likely young people today would never own their own home.
“Absolutely,” he said, “when you’re spending $40 a day on smashed avocados and coffees and not working. Of course.”
Gurner added: “When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for AU$19 and four coffees at AU$4 each.
“We’re at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high.”
He added: “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.”
— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) May 15, 2017
Gurner went on to take aim at the apparent unrealistic expectations of millennials.
“They want to eat out every day, they want to travel to Europe every year. This generation is watching the Kardashians and thinking that’s normal. Thinking that owning a Bentley is normal, that owning a BMW is normal.”
The real estate mogul’s comments sparked a backlash on social media with some accusing Gurner of hypocrisy as he had been given a loan by his grandfather to kickstart his own business.
Others said the property market had changed markedly since he had first entered it 15 years ago and that prices had far outstripped earnings.
Gurner responded in later interviews saying he was disappointed his serious points about the affordability of property had been trivialised on social media.
“I think it’s incredibly hard for people to get into the market. House prices are expensive, however while our economy is so strong and population growth set to continue, this is the new reality for Australians,” he told news.com.au.
Gurner is worth AU$460m (£368m), according to the BRW 2016 Rich List of the wealthiest Australians.