There’s no doubt: Cape Town is following the trend set by international down towns where millennials seem to be occupying the lion’s share of residential stock.
This was revealed in 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, millennials have been classified as those who were born between 1981 and 1997 (a range recognised by the nonpartisan American “think tank” organisation, The Pew Research Centre), making them between 20 and 36 years of age.
According to Carola Koblitz, editor of the report, 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 25-34 year age group. The second largest group at just OVER 22% fell into the 35-44 year age group.”
The millennial migration to down towns has been extensively covered in the international media. In an article published by the USA Financial Times (Companies follow millennials to downtown Chicago,December 16, 2016, by Patti Waldmeir), the writer noted that businesses that moved out of the city during the years of urban sprawl are now returning to downtown Chicago to follow the millennials.
Says Rob Kane, chairperson of the CCID: “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.”
Another statistic that was monitored in the survey was the split between ownership and rentals of properties in the Central City. Notes Koblitz: “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.”
A surprising statistic resulting from the survey indicated the number of years that respondents had lived in the Central City, with just over 36% having lived in the area for five years or move, and of which just under 17% had lived in the CBD 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.”
The full results of the residential survey can be found online, on the CCID website, in the latest The State of Cape Town Central City Report: 2016 – A year in review.