(Credit: Alamy)

The avocado toast index: How many breakfasts to buy a house?

If young people stopped wasting their money on lavish things like toast, could they use that money to buy a house? We crunched the numbers to find out

If you’re under 35, you’re a millennial. Recent culinary trends suggest that, while reading this, you might have an overpriced latte in one hand, and a fancy piece of toast smothered with avocadoes in the other. And some suggest that you’d rather waste your money on an Instagrammable breakfast than make sensible investments like buying a house.

Well, so says conventional grumpy wisdom, most recently articulated by Australian tycoon Tim Gurner, who made international headlines this month for blasting young home buyers for their spending habits.    

The 35-year-old property developer told the Australian edition of 60 Minutes that when he was saving for his first home, he “wasn't buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each”.

He generated a flurry of debate, but also an interesting question: roughly how many pieces of avocado toast would it actually take to afford a home? We looked at 10 cities around the world, crunched the numbers and found out. Scroll to the bottom for our methodology. Research by Miriam Quick. Illustrations by Piero Zagami.

All figures are in US dollars. Click/pinch to enlarge.

We took the average cost for avocado toast in a handful of cafes in each city, and looked at how many you’d need to forego to afford a 20% deposit on a home. House prices are based the average price for a 90sq m apartment outside the city centre, reported by users of cost-of-living website Numbeo.

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