Housing Is So Fucked That Developers Are Offering Free Avocado Toast as a Sweetener

Let’s run the numbers and really decide if we like avocadoes that much.

12 May 2017, 1:06pm

(Photo via Flickr/Stacy Spensley)

So it says here that estate agents in Australia are offering the sweetener of all sweeteners if you buy one of their $595,000/£340,900 townhouses in Sherwood, Brisbane, and that sweetener is—

wait for it—

free avocado on toast. For a year. That is the sweetener.

I know you are excited, millennial. Such a healthy fat. Just such a healthy, healthy fat. Because you spend all your spare money, every day like a junkie, on avocado toast, don't you? That's what's been holding you back from financial success all these years. Avotoast. You think I have not been so depraved? I have. I have broken windows with my fists and cut up my arms to steal TVs to sell at CeX to take that money to The Breakfast Club for one warm green hit of avocaine. I have begged on the streets for coppers just to maybe, possibly, scratch up the five to six pounds I need for someone to mash an avocado into one slice of sourdough for me. Tried to go cold turkey but found myself, on 48 hours of no sleep, smashing up an avocado in a bowl with a fork. Avocado toast is our generation's addiction, and the sooner we stop frittering all our money away on it, the sooner we can all grow up and do what our parents tell us to do, which is buy a property in our twenties, fucking somehow.


Let's run the numbers, because I cannot stop looking at the following sentence, presented in earnest by Ray White Sherwood's condo catalogue: "to help with the budget we are including 12 months free avocado on toast once a weekend at your favourite cafe". First fucks: one portion of avocado on toast per weekend per person is about the tightest offer of a sweetener I've ever heard. Second fucks: I'm going to quote the price for avo toast at my favourite – and, therefore, by extension, the best – brunch place in London, which is Café Z Bar in Stoke Newington, and then we are going to calculate exactly how much that saves. CN FOR NORTHERN READERS: The following content contains menu prices from a London brunch place:



So let's just assume you're taking the fancier version of these two avo toast options: at one avo toast per person per weekend, that's £390 per year, presuming you hit brunch every single weekend without fail. No going home for Christmas, no weekends away. You have to have avocado on toast once a weekend for 52 consecutive weekends to hit that goal. If you're just going for the basic version – less protein, but maybe you're just not in the mood for eggs, I am not here to tell you how to live your life – that's £286, annually. For one year.

I want to revisit this line from the sales brochure:

"and to help with the budget we are including 12 months free avocado on toast once a weekend at your favourite cafe"

Please compare and contrast screenshot #1 with screenshots #2 and #3, all taken from within this very article




So we have established the avocado on toast sweetener is a fucking grift. We also have to acknowledge that this ruse is a slowly glowing trend. As the Guardian reported on the 3rd of May, estate agents in London are offering stamp duty subsidies of up to £150,000, Sonos sound system, entire fucking Renault Zoe cars and free iPads for anyone willing to spaff down a deposit at development launch nights. "This is absolutely not a sign of desperation," developer Jamm told the paper, in possibly one of the most desperate-sounding quotes I've ever seen written. Property agent Henry Pryor estimates there are 59,000 "high-end" flats being built in London alone right now, but sales of new builds are only around the 6,000 mark. I dunno just sounds an awful lot like a fucking massive housing crisis brought about by extremely short-sighted profit-fixated developers to me, I don't know. I don't know.

A study by Shelter today revealed one in three tenants (i.e. people renting, not those already enclaved in their own mortgaged housing) had to borrow money to cover rent in the past year, meaning half a million people had relied on overdrafts, credit cards or payday loans to keep a roof over their heads. Studies last week showed that the so-called "bank of mum and dad" was now Britain's ninth-biggest mortgage lender, with more than £6 billion being lent by parents to children last year, not counting straight up gifts of cash (and this news is a double-edged sword: on one hand you can attack the banks for not being as viable a lender as your own actual parents; on the other you can attack anyone privileged enough to have parents who just have a mortgage's worth of money lying around to lend to their offspring). In conclusion: the property market remains almost irreparably fucked, and in fact seems to be creaking ever deeper into the sea. But yeah no avocado toast sounds good, yeah.