How Many Slices of Avocado Toast Does a House Cost?

Australian real estate mogul Tim Gurner infamously quipped that the reason millennial homeownership rates are so low is that young people are spending all of their money on avocado toast, instead of saving for a down payment. Which begs the question: how many slices of avocado toast does a house cost?

Avocado Toast for buying a house

The Economics of Avocado Toast

I bought a loaf of sandwich bread last week. It was pretty nice bread: organic, multigrain, with seeds. It cost $4 and came with 16 slices. Some basic arithmetic tells us that each slice of bread costs $0.25. Avocados can be pricey these days, especially with the recent avocado shortage. Let's say that it costs $1 for an avocado at a grocery store, on average.

If you aren't already aware, to make avocado toast you put a single slice of bread in the toaster, and when it is golden, you slice half of an avocado on top of it. Maybe you butter the bread, maybe you sprinkle salt on top. If you are feeling really fancy, like I sometimes am, you might add a dash of chili flakes and a squeeze of lemon juice. If I'm feeling especially fancy, I might top the whole concoction off with the tiniest drizzle of olive oil. While all of these add-ons aren't technically necessary for avocado toast, let us say that they add another $0.25 to our total cost per slice.

So what are we at now? $0.25 for the bread, $0.50 for half of an avocado, $0.25 cents for gourmet add-ons. That puts us at $1 to make a single slice of avocado toast. Not bad for breakfast! But is that breakfast choice keeping me from my dreams of owning a house? Is the tragic state of my bank account due to my love for tasty toast, and not in fact, due to crippling student debt and stagnant wages? Let's see.

The median price for a house in America is $188,900. If my avocado toast costs me $1 in ingredients, then a house costs me 188,900 pieces of toast. Do you think my real estate agent will accept a truckload of creamy delicious avocado smeared on top of toasted bread, in lieu of a down payment?

According to Tim Gurner, my addiction to avocado toast is standing in the way my dreams of financial security. So is the secret to buying a home actually just giving up my beloved toast? If I hypothetically gave up eating avocado toast every single day (which I do not do, for the record), and instead, put my avocado toast money in a savings account, it would take me 188,900 days to save enough money to purchase a house. To be clear, that is 517 and a half years. Even if modern science could quintuple my life expectancy, inflation will likely result in home prices being even higher at that point. My five-century avocado toast savings account probably wouldn't even be enough to buy a house!

Avocado toast buying a house

But maybe Tim Gurner wasn't talking to me, a frugal home chef that thriftily makes my own avocado toast. Maybe he was only referring to my free spending, gluttonous millennial friends, who go out to restaurants to buy avocado toast. Let's see what that math looks like. If avocado toast at a café costs you, let's say, $7 (this is some really nice toast!), and if you went to a café to buy avocado toast every single day (literally nobody does this), at the end of the year, you would have spent $2,555 on avocado toast. That's not chump change, but what does that mean in terms of housing costs? Well, if you gave up your artisanal, café-prepared avocado toast, and instead saved that money, you could totally buy a house in 74 years. Though at that rate, your money would be better spent on a nursing home. Or maybe a burial plot.

How to Be a Toast-Entrepreneur

Perhaps I am looking at this all wrong. Maybe I should start selling avocado toast to foolish avocado toast loving millennials. As previously calculated, the material cost for this delicious treat is $1 a slice, but I can sell it to fiscally unwise 20-somethings for $7, making a profit of $6 per slice. (In this millennial entrepreneurial fantasy, I don't have to consider any of the other business expenses like renting store space, utilities, taxes, or labor.) In that case, I only need to sell 31,483 pieces of avocado toast in order to afford a house!

Avocado Toast life

If I wanted even better profit margins, I could grow the avocados myself to save on supply costs. How long does it take for an avocado tree to reach maturity? Google told me 13 years. Hang on a second, I gotta go plant my avocado pit from my delicious avocado toast this morning in my backyard, so that I can one day actually own property! Thank you for the advice, Tim Gurner.

In conclusion, avocado toast has absolutely nothing to do with buying a house. Shocking twist, I know. So go make yourself a slice of damn avocado toast. And while you wait for your bread to toast, check out our rental listings, because you deserve to live in a place you love, even if you can't afford to buy it.


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