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Then v now: is it really getting harder to buy property?

By Georgia Brown
18

A controversial commentator has slammed Generation Y’s “self-entitlement” about property prices, sparking a war of words and once again raising the issues of home ownership, investment and affordability.

In his recent blog titled Owning a home is a privilege, not a right!, buyer’s agent, property investor, and director of wHeregroup Todd Hunter addressed the claim that Generation Y can’t get onto the property ladder due to houses being unaffordable.

“I have to say, I am sick of all the whining,” he wrote.

“This sense of self-entitlement is simply sickening. Apparently, things are so much tougher than they were 10, 20 and 30 years ago.

“But were they?”

Mr Hunter went on to tell his own property investment story, emphasising his initial low income and stringent budgeting, and contrasting the buying conditions to the luxuries of buyers today.

“There weren’t the loan products available like there are today, where you can have just a 5 per cent deposit,” he wrote.

“Mum and Dad couldn’t borrow against the equity in their home to give me a deposit either.

“We had to save. Yes, it’s a nasty word.”

Mr Hunter then rattled off a list of Millennial privileges, which he pointed to as a reason for their lack of savings for home deposits.

“We didn’t drink $4 coffees every day, we didn’t have Foxtel, Netflix, Spotify,” he wrote.

“Our mobile phones lasted for many years. We had one TV in our house, not four.

“We didn’t have lavish weddings for $60,000, nor travel overseas for 12 months on a gap year, partying 24/7 whilst deciding what we wanted to do in life.”

Mr Hunter declared that he would “hate to think what the next generation will be like if they are being brought up in this environment already”.

He offered young first home buyers some tips, such as: stay at home and don’t rent a place you cannot afford; save for a deposit until you are ready to really move out; don’t ‘put a ring on it’ unless you have a deposit for a home; and don’t spend money on a wedding that you couldn’t afford to fund yourself.

Mr Hunter concluded the blog with the statement: “Millennials, this is life – where you don’t get a participation trophy”.

The blog post has sparked outrage among the first home buyer community.

One commenter wrote: “If I ever met you in person I’d give you a smack in the face”.

“Just look at the intelligent comments on this feed and you’ll see it’s NOT the same as it was when you were young,” they wrote.

“It’s your generation and the Baby Boomers that have ruined the whole world for future generations. You should be ashamed.”

Some readers took to the wHeregroup Facebook page to voice their digust.

“This is the worst pile of trite non-reasoning I’ve ever seen pop up on my feed. By every sensible metric on earth, home ownership is harder now than 30 years ago. That is an indisputable fact,” one commenter wrote.

“The condescending assumptions in this article are nauseating. I am a Generation Y with a great job and I don’t own an expensive car or more than one TV, I never had a ‘gap year’ nor do I own an excess of electronics or luxury items. Still I struggle with a rental market that makes saving for a deposit hard. Faced with a 35-50 year mortgage. I work 50 hours a week. This article makes out I’m lazy for not completely sacrificing my entire life for capitalism,” another wrote.

Some readers, however, shared Mr Hunter’s sentiment, commenting “Love it. Well said Todd”, and relating to his story. “Totally agree! I saved my ass off to build a house when I was 21 and lived with my parents’ old hand-me-down furniture on concrete floors for years till I could save up enough cash to afford to buy my own furniture, carpets and tiles! We all survived!”

Mr Hunter has since rebutted the negative comments with a follow-up blog post titled Millennials Part II – Affordability isn’t the problem, in which he declared: “Reality check – most people cannot afford a house within five kilometres of a major CBD”.

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