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Dear home owners, keep your lectures to yourself. Yours, Millennials

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"Well we had it tough," begins the famous Monty Python Four Yorkshiremen skit, "You tell the young people of today that, and they wouldn't believe you!" This is what came to mind reading Dee Broughton's "We may own a home but we did it tough", a piece that completely misses the point about millennials' frustration with the housing market.

No one is saying that previous generations didn't work hard to secure a deposit for a home. What we are saying is that the current housing market, a combination of low interest rates, negative gearing and relaxed capital gains taxes has created a situation where houses have become investment vehicles; quick ways to make money and not places to be lived in.

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Our frustration doesn't stem from a false belief that previous generations didn't suffer through menial and degrading jobs. Nor do we think that owning a house doesn't require sacrificing a few luxuries. That's obvious.

What our generation is frustrated by is inertia in politics and a party unwilling to concede that the unequal distribution of property - and a view that property ownership is an easy way for the rich to accumulate money - is wrong.

We are frustrated that it is impossible to keep up with rising prices, while investors can make millions without contributing anything to the economy.

We are frustrated that property speculation and soaring prices are not being treated with the seriousness they merit.


We are frustrated that we are expected to take out some of the highest loans in the world.

We are frustrated being told that we should just work harder and spend less.

We are frustrated by politicians who tell us to move to Tamworth.

We are frustrated living with our parents.

We are frustrated doing all of this, whilst also being expected to work for free to gain experience in our future careers (if we are lucky enough to have a career).

The insistence on frugality as a solution is also irritating and wrong. Buying our beloved smashed avo on toast doesn't merely make a breakfast; it also helps keep our fellow millennial smashed avo-makers in the job!

As for holidays, the notion that they should be forgone for housing deposits is saddening. The value of a holiday is not merely some hedonistic fortnight in Kuta; overseas travel for young people is a rite of passage. Its value is greater than the cost in what it brings in increased confidence, sense of self and openness to the world.

I worry that bean counting and austere living leaves millennials missing out on crucial life lessons. The open-mindedness that comes with overseas study and the exposure to new people and ideas should not be completely sacrificed. I for one would be a lot happier hearing about a friend's Andalusian adventure than a detailed explanation of interest rates.

I do not mean to say that young people should live it up and expect to be given a house. What I am saying is that it is not beneficial for any generation to simply work and penny pinch. If we want a better political class than we have currently, we will not get it by sending all the millennials "down pit". In any case, with the housing market in Sydney and Melbourne as hot as it is, when us millennials hear about a shoebox in the middle of the road, we think "luxury!"

Claudia Hooper is a millennial and Master of Global Media and Communications student at The University of Melbourne.