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Millennials migrate to 'downtown' Cape Town

22 May 2017

There is no doubt that Cape Town is following the trend set by international downtowns where Millennials seem to be occupying the lion’s share of residential stock.

Koblitz says a surprising statistic resulting from the survey indicated the number of years respondents had lived in the Central City, with just over 36% having lived in the area for five years or more, and of which just under 17% had lived in the CBD for more than 10 years already.

This is according to Carola Koblitz, editor of the Cape Town Central City Improvement District’s (CCID’s) most recent annual invest report, The State of Cape Town Central City Report: 2016 - A year in review, which includes the results of a dipstick residential survey conducted in the final quarter of 2016 with 232 CBD households.

For the purposes of the report, Koblitz says Millennials have been classified as those who were born between 1981 and 1997, a range recognised by the non-partisan American ‘think tank’ organisation, The Pew Research Centre, making them between 20 and 36 years of age.

According to Koblitz, this is the age group within which the majority of survey respondents are to be found.

“While not all respondents were prepared to disclose their ages, 43% of those who did noted that they fell into the 25 to 34 year age group. The second largest group at just over 22% fell into the 35 to 44 year age group,” she says.

The Millennial migration to downtowns has been extensively covered in the international media. In Companies follow Millennials to downtown Chicago, an article by Patti Waldmeir published by the USA Financial Times (on 16 December 2016), Waldmeir says  businesses that moved out of the city during the years of urban sprawl are now returning to downtown Chicago to follow the Millennials.

“It makes sense that we are seeing the same trend in the Cape Town Central City. We are seeing increasing numbers of corporate head offices moving into and close to the CBD. We also have people-intensive industries such as call centres, of which there are a total of 37 just in the Central City,” says Rob Kane, chairperson of the CCID.

Koblitz says another statistic that was monitored in the survey was the split between ownership and rentals of properties in the Central City.

“Most respondents (230 of the 232) were prepared to disclose whether they owned or rented their property, and this was split between 54% ownership and 46% rentals,” she says.

Koblitz says a surprising statistic resulting from the survey indicated the number of years respondents had lived in the Central City, with just over 36% having lived in the area for five years or more, and of which just under 17% had lived in the CBD for more than 10 years already. 

“The next largest group - just under 16% - falls into the category of having lived in the CBD for three to five years. Just over 15% have been here for two to three years, and just over 14% have been here for one to two years. Just over 18% are relatively new to the area, having lived here for less than one year,” says Koblitz.

“The full results of the residential survey can be found on the CCID website.”

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