Let’s talk about that Millennial Avocado Toast article…

Ridiculous Avocado Toasts

Le sigh. It would be just my luck that the same week I re-launch this blog as Mrs. Millennial, somebody goes and spouts off a bunch of nonsense about millennials to the press again.  I thought we were past this, y’all. I really did.

But apparently not, so let’s discuss the damn avocado toast article.

If you’ve been hiding under a rock this week, the outrage was created when an Australian real-estate tycoon said that the reason millennials can’t buy houses is because they’re spending all their money on “smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each.” Now, before I even get to the meat of the issue here, let me just address a few particularly ridiculous points:

  1. I just checked my weekly grocery circular. They’ve got a loaf of bakery bread for about $3 and an organic Haas avocado goes for $1.49. That’s under $5. Even if the guy meant that millennials are all out at restaurants brunching, I looked up avocado toasts at one of Austin’s swankiest brunch places, and it was only $10. If you’re paying $19 for avocado toast? Yeah, that’s pretty dumb.
  2. The dude got his start via a $34,000 loan from his grandfather. You know what $34,000 is enough to do in most places in America? Put a down payment on a house.
  3. As a friend of mine pointed out on Facebook, this is really just another version of the “prosperity gospel” rearing its ugly head. Poor people don’t *deserve* nice things like avocados, according to prosperity gospel devotees.

But the bigger problem with the avocado toast article? What if I told you THE ENTIRE PREMISE IS FALSE?

Mind blown

True, but I was talking about the other premise…

  • A lot of millennials DO own homes. (Source.) The last year of reliable, academic, peer-reviewed research on the matter is from 2015. In 2015, 35% of millennials owned a home. (Comparatively, 58.5% of Gen Xers owned a home. That’s only a 13.5% difference.)
  • The ones who don’t own homes are too young. The millennial age groups spans those born from 1981 – 1997. In 2015, they were between 18 and 34 years old.  The average age of a first-time home buyer hasn’t changed much since the 70s: it’s age 30. (Source.) Only 25% of millennials had reached that age by 2015. Meaning, if you looked at the trend just among those older than the average first time home buyer, the rate of millennial home ownership is actually BETTER than Gen Xers.
  • Rate of home ownership among millennials is growing rapidly. More recent research— though not as thorough as the Harvard study—shows that in the last two years, the rate of millennial home ownership has jumped to 53% in 2017. (Source.) If confirmed, that’s a jump of 18% in just two years. Additional strong growth is expected among millennials over the years to come, as well.

So, ya know. Before we go full avocado-pocalypse around here, maybe let’s just check the facts. #MillennialProud #MillennialStrong

Header image courtesy of Flickr user Marco Verch, under a Creative Commons license

Whitney

  • Hadley Hempel

    I <3 avocado toast!

  • Avocado toast is good, but totally one of the most overpriced items on the menu – even at $10. I don’t know anyone that makes it at home for ~$2. While I agree with the 3 facts you point out at the end of the article, most of the “millennials” I know will think they are false.

  • I’m a millennial on paper, but I honestly don’t agree with any of these sweeping statements people say about us like the real estate man! I am a homeowner and certainly don’t spend all my money on $4 coffees and avocado toast in restaurants. It’s much better to make your own anyway I think!! I made everything from scratch, I hate being put into a box by articles and people. I agree with all of your points! 🙂

  • Amy Pawlukiewicz

    First of all, I’m not a millennial and I love avocado toast. Secondly, in some areas of the world (like SoCal, for instance), there are these great inventions called avocado trees, so the avocados are super cheap and literally being sold by the side of the road. This guy sounds like an idiot. Great post!

  • Jobie Medina

    I must live under a rock, I’ve never heard of avocado toast, but OMGosh it sounds delicious. And I can’t imagine it costing $19. I also can’t make myself spend $4 on coffee let alone multiple time per week. Sounds like this guy was just making stuff up. But I must try this avocado toast!!!

  • TeeShares

    I love avocado on toast. My fav though is avocado, lemon pepper and salt & pepper – yum! But I’m gonna try yours above. Healthy eating!

  • It’s easy to generalize, unfortunately. Not saying he is right by any means. I know prices tend to be higher in Australia, so maybe $19 isn’t an exaggeration where he is from. Maybe they have to import their avocados? Poor souls. I love me some avocado toast, and it’s truly not expensive at all to make it at home.

  • Avocado on toast can be really expensive here, but everyone’s entitled to a treat now and then! And the odd brunch here and there won’t make such a difference in getting into the housing market when houses are so expensive!

    There was so much talk about this in Australia when the piece was published – now it seems every few weeks they come out with something else that’s stopping people owning homes, sigh!

    Hope you are having a wonderful week!

    Away From The Blue Blog