The Real Reason Millennials Aren't Buying House is... Avocados??? News & Opinion

The Real Reason Millennials Aren’t Buying Houses is… Avocados???

Famous Foods Taking Part of the Blame for Millennials’ Slow Entry Into the Housing Market

Millennials are slower at getting into the housing game that generations previously. Some experts cite later marriage, others blame student loan debt. But according to a recent story on the BBC, avocados deserve at least part of the blame based on their avocado toast index.

10-Second Summary

  • 2017 saw $4.82 billion in global avocado imports – a 21% increase from 2012 to 2016
  • The average restaurant avocado toast in San Fransisco is $9 – a $3285 per year habit if you have one a day
  • 2018 median home price – $210,000
  • A 20% downpayment costs 12.8 years’ worth of avocado toast
  • A 3% downpayment is just under 2 years’ worth of avocado toast


Give Up Avocado to Buy a House?

It seems a little far-fetched that something like an avocado habit can cost enough that Millennials aren’t buying houses over it, but let’s look at the number before we dismiss it completely.

One story cites an International Trade Center report that claims avocado imports were $4.82 billion – a 21% increase from 2012 to 2016. Holy guacamole!

Even a London plastic surgeon says he has so many patients in 2017 that cut themselves slicing avocados that they started calling it “avocado hand.”

Okay, so Millennials consume a lot of avocados and there are potential medical bills to go along with it.

In one story, the BBC says the average restaurant avocado toast costs $9. Ouch!

$9 a day times 365 days a year is a $3285 per year habit, plus medical expenses.

2018’s median house price in the US is $210,000. 20% of that for a downpayment is $42,000, or 12.8 years worth of avocado toasts.

On the other hand, you don’t need 20% down. If you’re willing to pay PMI, you can get in for as little as 3% – $6300. Now that avocado habit is eating into your home buying plans. Making a good ole fried egg sandwich in your apartment can get you the home savings you need in just under 2 years.


Food for Thought

When in the world did we start teaching our children that $5 coffees and $9 breakfast toasts are a God-given right? If you can afford it, by all means, spend your money how you like. But for a generation complaining about the weight of student loan debt, drinking or smoking might be cheaper therapy than avocados.

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Melissa Lcecil wilsonClint DeBoerMillennial HomeownerM.C. Recent comment authors
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Melissa L
Melissa L

This article is ridiculous. I’m a millennial, and I’m offended that we are to blame for not buying a home due to our splurges on… avocados?! First, this compares the highest cost of avocado toast in one of the most expensive places in the US, San Francisco. Yet, states that the average home cost in the US is $218,000? At least compare your article to the same city you are citing. So yeah, I suppose people / millennials are more inclined to spend $9 on an avocado toast in SF than a, I don’t know… $2.5 million dollar condo?? Absurd.… Read more »

cecil wilson

This article is ridiculous. As a young millennial homeowner, I don’t take offense, but I am tired of hearing the previous generation discuss our housing market as if it is even remotely comparable to the housing market that they grew up with. Average annual income in the US has grown significantly slower in the last few decades than the average cost of housing in the US; that’s why millennials aren’t buying houses, not because we eat breakfast. No one in my age group that I know personally eats avocado toast, and most of them cannot afford home ownership. The generation… Read more »

Millennial Homeowner
Millennial Homeowner

I assume this is satire, but it’s not even good. Why use the cost of avocado toast at restaurants in San Francisco, yet use the median home price of ??? (not San Francisco for damn sure). Also, the only way to save 100% of that is to literally not eat. A more valid comparison would be taking median cost of avocados and bread from the grocery store and comparing to whatever.

– A millennial homeowner who doesn’t even eat avocado toast, but hates stupidity.


Can I just point out that you cite a convenience food price from one of the most expensive cities in the country along with the cost of an unusually reasonably priced home? Try citing real estate prices and frivolous purchases from the same cities. A $210k home in San Francisco? Pfft. Yeah, right! (Btw, most people make their own avocado toast. And avocado prices have shrunk down to the point that they cost hardly any more than oranges and apples, at least at my grocery store.)

Jeff P
Jeff P

I found this article to be tastefully written