Millennial migration to central city right on trend

2017-05-30 06:00

As the Cape Town CBD gets older, its residents are getting younger.

This according to a survey by the Cape Town Central Improvement District (CCID), and published in its most recent annual investment report, The state of Cape Town central city report: 2016 – A year in review.

The results of the survey show that Cape Town is following the trend of downtowns overseas where millennials seem to be occupying the lion’s share of residences.

The dipstick survey was conducted in the final quarter of last year with 232 CBD households.

For the purposes of the report, millennials are classified as those who were born between 1981 and 1997, making them between 20 and 36 years old.

According to Carola Koblitz, editor of the report, this is the age group of the majority of survey respondents. “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.”

The “millennial migration” to downtowns often brings back businesses that had left the CBD during the years of urban sprawl, Koblitz explains.

CCID chairperson Rob Kane adds: “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.”

The survey found just over half of respondents own their homes in the CBD.

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

More than half of respondents have lived in the CBD for longer than five years, with just over 36% having lived in the area for five years or more and just under 17% for more than 10 years already.

“The next largest group – just under 16% –,” notes Koblitz, “falls into the category of having lived in the CBD for three to five years. Just over 15% have been her 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.”

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