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Property ownership out of reach due to high prices, not 'smashed avocado' penchant, millennials argue

ABC BusinessABC Business 6 days ago

Millennials have hit back in the growing debate over home ownership, arguing an out-of-reach housing market has nothing to do with a penchant for "smashed avocado".

The debate was sparked by a weekend newspaper column by KPMG partner Bernard Salt, who said young Australians should spend less on breakfast and instead save for a home deposit.

However Sydney comedian, renter and millennial James Colley said his generation felt a sense of futility about saving for home, and if they could not afford a deposit, they might as well enjoy life's smaller pleasures.

"The numbers don't add up, so I feel like people get smaller indulgences almost to break free of that," he said.

"It's absurd that if you are either paying enough or having enough smashed avocados, that it's becoming a factor in your deposit — then the house deposit isn't your biggest issue."

"There's something going on with your avocado consumption levels that feels like that needs to be checked out first."

Smashed avocado is a common cafe breakfast menu item that can sell for more than $20.

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The dish is part of a growing number of indulgences enjoyed by the children of baby boomers who say they have given up on the idea of home ownership.

At least one investment expert says millennials have a point.

Roger Montgomery of the Montgomery Fund said embarking on luxury holidays was another observable spending habit among millennials.

"There are no shortage of very young people at very expensive resorts all around the world that happen to be Australian, and they seem to be spending on luxury holidays as well," he said.

On Sunday, Deloitte Access Economics said apartment prices in Australia's capital cities could fall by 15 per cent by 2019.

Deloitte's Chris Richardson warned the vulnerable property market was part of a list of shaky pillars supporting the Australian economy.

"To some extent, the better conditions at the moment are achieved off the back of increased risks in vulnerability into the future," he said.

If his predictions are accurate, millennials could be weening themselves off smashed avocado and buying a property in just a couple of years.

"The thing about apartment markets that people don't realise is that there is an increasing understanding that we're building too many, but that gives developers a big incentive to sprint on their particular block of apartments and sell it faster…"

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