Multi-millionaire property tycoon Tim Gurner has responded to the backlash over his avocado toast comments on 60 Minutes, telling news.com.au it was "actually incorrect" to say he had received any sort of help entering the property market.
Responding to a question on 60 Minutes over the weekend about whether young people now faced the prospect of never being able to afford to buy a home, Gurner said: “Absolutely, when you’re spending $40 a day on smashed avocado and coffee and not working.”
His comments sparked a backlash, with people pointing to how the property market had changed since the 35-year-old made his first investment, and the help he had received.
On Tuesday Gurner sought to clarify his comments and the way in which he climbed onto the property ladder. He said that, as an 18-year-old, he renovated a property his boss had bought.
“My first investment property was an apartment bought for $180,000 in St Kilda [Melbourne] and I was fortunate enough to have my boss at the time approach me to renovate it while he fronted up the money," he said.
Gurner used the $12,000 profit he made from the sale of that property to take out a $150,000 loan. He also had $34,000 from his grandfather.
Gurner said his 60 Minutes interview has been misconstrued, with "trivial" comments from the interview being picked up by the media over the more important issues like housing affordability.
In a post on his Linkedin page on Monday, Gurner said he was "humbled" by the "amazing support and comments" he had received from everyone.
Gurner's interview was the catalyst for Australia's curious relationship with avocado toast and affordable housing making its way across the globe. The New York Times, Time Magazine and Newsweek were just some of the international publications that published stories on his comments.
The whole avocado toast thing began with an article written by Bernard Salt in October last year.
Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Brad Esposito at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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