It seems that property developer, Tim Gurner, has the answer to the housing affordability crisis: Cut back on your coffee and smashed avocado. Well, that’s what he told “60 Minutes”. When he was saving for his first home, he wasn’t spending money on smashed avocado and “four coffees at $4 each”.
Well, I don’t remember seeing smashed avocado on most menus until recent days, so it’d have been hard for him to find a place serving it. As for coffees at $4 each, well, it was over a decade when he bought his first home, so he’d have to have been pretty stupid to spend that much for a coffee when it was available much more cheaply.
But I’m being pedantic! Mr Gurner is in a great position to give advice because he’s a very wealthy man. His company owns over five thousand apartments and he’s ranked number 157 on The Financial Review’s Rich List. So when he tell us what’s wrong with young people, we should listen:
“You have to start to get realistic about your expectations. There is no question we are at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high.
“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.”
He started out small. He was given $34,000 by his grandfather and used that to build his fortune. Well, that, and not spending money on avocados. So for anyone complaining about not being available to afford a house: Get realistic, stop drinking coffee and ask your poppa for $34,000!
Of course, a few of you out there may be thinking that he doesn’t care about housing affordability because – with fewer people in houses – then there’s more people wanting to rent his apartments. Shame on you! That’s the sort of class warfare and politics of envy that the Liberals like to disparage as they cut another billion or so from welfare programs. This man worked hard for his money. Being nice to granddad, then buying up one negatively geared house after another. It’s not easy to do all those inspections. You’re exactly the same sort of people who’ll point out that Scott Morrison’s salary sacrifice plan to save for a house means that someone on a higher income, will get a tax break of twenty-two cents in the dollar while someone on average income will only get fifteen cents in the dollar. Someone on $37,000 will only get a five cent tax break, but people like that won’t be saving for a house – they’ll be putting all their money into their children’s private school fees…
So for those of you purchasing “four coffees at $4 each” while bemoaning your lack of a house deposit, just cut it out. The coffee and the complaining. By saving the money for the coffees, you’ll save $16 a day. At the end of the year, that’ll be $5,840. So after three years… Let’s see, you’ll have about… Well, let’s round it up to $20,000. Yep, assuming a twenty percent deposit, you’ll be able to afford a house worth $100,000.
Mmm, that’s not going to buy you too many houses… Even ones that don’t have a view of the Harbour or the Opera House. In fact, I don’t even know if it’d get you much in Armidale.
All right, the coffee wouldn’t be the only money being put away for a housing deposit. I mean, there is the smashed avocado! And that probably doubles the amount being saved if one assumes that it’s purchased every day of the year. You’d think that someone saving for a house would get sick of the same thing day after day.
Otherwise, all we really need is a drop in the price of smashed avocado and before you know it, all those extravagant hipsters will be able to afford a house.
Of course, there’s nobody struggling to buy a house who doesn’t drink coffee or eat out every day, because that doesn’t fit the narrative. If you even suggested such a thing, then the next thing you know people would be suggesting that the unemployed have trouble finding jobs because there are more applicants than employment opportunities and that it’s not because they’re all on drugs and therefore too lazy to look for work.
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