Eyes Roll As 'Question Time' Panel Asked About Millennials, Avocado Toast And Housing
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It may have escaped your notice amidst the many problems facing young people today, but these are dark times for 18-36-year-olds looking to climb on the property ladder.
This time last year, a theory was put forward that millennials might be able to afford to buy houses for themselves if only they'd stop luxuriating in needlessly extravagant purchases like avocado toast and takeaway coffee. Most responses were derisory - but now the question has popped up again on the BBC's current affairs show Question Time. Take a look below:
"Is home ownership within the reach of young people if they ditch takeaway coffees and avocado toast?" asks the audience member. You can almost hear the eye-rolls from young people across the land as the question comes in.
"Yes, it's a good quote," replies host David Dimbleby.
Whether you agree with the line or not, this is definitely the face of someone who's a little too pleased with and amused by their own actually-a-full-year-old reference. As sharp political satire goes, I doubt George Orwell is quaking in his grave:
Unsurprisingly, reaction was largely dismissive once more, with the panel enjoying a reasoned discussion that seemed to conclude millennials have had the shitty end of the stick when it comes to buying a home.
The Twitter reaction, however, was a little more pointed, as people queued up to pour scorn on the idea.
"Just how much coffee & avocado toast does this questioner think young people are consuming....?" wrote #TweetForDisabledpeople campaigner Nicky Clark, while another user added: "It is extremely patronising to suggest all youngsters spend what little cash they have on such things."
Meanwhile, researcher Gavin Maclean pondered the question, before responding: "Average London flat: £429,372. Rough avocado price: £2. Rough coffee price: £3. Avocado & coffee a day a year: £1,825. Projected length of this avocado coffee mortgage: 235 years. No."
The issue was originally raised in May 2017 by Australian property developer Tim Gurner, who told 60 Minutes Australia: "When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn't buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each. We're at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high."
In response to the question of whether young people might never be able to afford a home, he added: "Absolutely, when you're spending $40 a day on smashed avocados and coffees and not working. Of course."
Of course, it wasn't just serious responses on Twitter, as users responded the best way they know - with snark:
Naturally, there were also some who agreed with the theory of making sacrifices to make savings, even if they didn't necessarily go along with the avo/coffee bit.
According to the Resolution Foundation think tank, roughly half of 18-36-year-olds are currently renting property in the UK, with four times as many Millennials renting privately at the age of 30 than Baby Boomers at the same age.
As reported by the Sun, if this pattern continues, roughly 4.6 million people are projected to still be renting by the time they become pensioners.
It's certainly a complex issue, with many calling for major reforms in the private sector and for more affordable housing to be built.
Just a thought, but maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing if people stopped trivialising the issue with smug zingers about avocado toast and posh coffee....? That could just be me, though.