This Is How Many Avocado Toasts It Costs to Buy a House

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

An Australian real estate mogul had some choice words about why millennials can’t afford buying a home. While speaking with Australia’s “60 Minutes” on Monday, Tim Gurner singled out avocado toast as one of the culprits.

“When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each,” he said. “We’re at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high. They want to eat out every day; they want travel to Europe every year.”

The broader takeaway from Gurner is that millennials are supposedly living beyond their means. But at face value, he’s honing in on a food trend that is showing no sign of quitting.

Is eating out the reason why millennials are unable to buy homes? The New York Times dove into how much this generation is spending on eating out to make the following conclusion: “Even if millennials assumed the eating-out habits of baby boomers, it would take around 113 years before they could afford a down payment on a home.”

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

If eating out is not the offender, then avocado toast is innocent as well. Still, for fun, here’s how many avocado toasts it takes to buy houses in different parts of the country.

Let’s start with New York. The median home value in New York is $650,000, according to Zillow. Taking a weekly habit of an $8 per avocado toast cost into account in a 52-week year, and a 20 percent down payment (this comes out to $130,000), you’d have to skip out on 312.5 years of avocado toast. Now let’s pretend you’re splurging on super-expensive $25 avocado toast twice a week — even then you’d need to quit the habit for 50 years. And if you DIY avocado toast (let’s say that’s $3 a serving) and eat it five times a week, then that’s 813 years of no homemade avocado toast.

The same calculations for San Francisco, where the median home value is $1,167,200, reveals a weekly $8 avocado toast habit would need to be gone for 561 years. In Chicago, where the median home value is $220,900, it’s a more realistic 106 years.

Sure, not all housing markets are as expensive as New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco. The median house price in Dallas, TX is $163,200, which means a 20 percent down payment is 32,640. Here, a weekly $8 habit of avocado toast would require resisting the food for 78 years. Or Detroit, MI where the median home is $31,900, so a $6,380 down payment would take 15.6 years.

But remember, that’s just the down payment. It’s going to cost you many more years of avocado toasts to make the rest of the payments.